Jin Soo Kim "Recent Paintings and Sculptures"

Tenri Cultural Institute

poster for Jin Soo Kim "Recent Paintings and Sculptures"

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Like Robert Rauschenberg’s minimalist aesthetic Kim’s immaculate métier calls our attention to its beautiful clarity but far from being simple it partakes of the complexity of the post-neo-avant-garde dialogue which rather than being dualistic is dialectical. Kim’s paintings are built up in layers of fine gesso and color and his content is always at the forefront. Like Rauschenberg’s erased DeKooning they are far from minimalist exercises. It took Rauschenberg one month to erase the DeKooning drawing composed of ink, greasy crayon, and pencil finally leaving a shadow of its previous subject. No matter how he tried to erase it completely in an effort to do away with DeKooning’s mark of labor thus his identity, he ended up with the shadow of his own efforts. Kim’s subjects may be seen in outline but they phase in and out in passages that seem to disappear and appear at random. Consequently they both engage the viewer in dialogue as well as breaking with their conversation at will. In this sense, Kim is like Rauschenberg who made such great effort to discover what ‘non-marking’ was and instead ended up with another work.

Far from accidental Kim’s paintings always involved layering, evincing at times, under-painted shadows, or some evidence of human presence within his monumental glossy surfaces. In his older series On the Edge Kim was interested in posing the human figure as disparate anatomical part, a foot for example, on a sharp dangerous precipice suggestive of life’s perils. In his more recent series Presences/Absences Kim dealt with the concept of inferred viewer seeing space as if looking from different angles. Fun mirror angles of bathroom, or floor tiles conflated to produce a dizzying array of angles from which the human sensibility tried to recover. In this latest oeuvre Intimate Reflections, Kim shows us that he has reached his maturity as an artist and has resolved the issue of the figure in space. As the artist says he felt “some kind of barrier between the object and himself, the building and space, from person to person, negative and positive, implicit and explicit. My glossy surfaces and use of silhouettes offer me a clue towards resolution. After I finish each work I put one more final coat on the painting that results in a type of bifurcation between its surface and its surrounding environment. This bifurcation can represent time and space, past and present or a moment combining present and past.” Kim’s new work challenges viewer perception both in its mysterious fading in and out as well as with its erasure of the human hand.



from December 14, 2009 to December 22, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-12-16 from 18:00 to 20:00


Jin Soo Kim

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