Peter Kim “Mystery of the Rocks”

Josee Bienvenu Gallery

poster for Peter Kim “Mystery of the Rocks”
[Image: Peter Kim "Untitled" (2020) Mixed Media on Paper. 22.83h x 30.12w in.]

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Josee Bienvenu presents Mystery of the Rocks, Peter Kim’s first exhibition in New York. Born in South Korea in 1967, Peter Kim has lived successively in Seoul, Marseille and Berlin and recently moved to New York. The exhibition includes a group of recent ink on paper drawings, four large paintings, as well as a suspended sculpture.

Something persists in us from primitive mankind, something common to all people. It is up to us, on an individual basis, to find this fragile thing, and take special care of it. It allows us to know who we are, where we come from and how we will find a worthy place in this world; to stand in a protected space and to rise above the hysterical fray. This is, in essence, the whole history of mankind and of the choices we must make in our lives. (Richard Leydier, Genesis and Exodus.) “As an Asian, I feel like a stranger in Europe and America. I have become a full member of today’s society caught up in chaos and confusion, but also in a noisy and excessive consumerism. In this materialistic world, I am a being who is afloat, barely balanced and living on borrowed time, like a broken vessel afloat in a very distant past.” (Peter Kim).

Peter Kim’s works throw viewers back on their own resources. We are, in effect, offered a primal encounter with the image (..) Here are images, undeniably accomplished, made for purposes and at the behest of motives that are not immediately self-evident. Their graphically compelling effects, though irresistible, may be entirely different from those the image-maker intended. Kim’s forms are presented flush with the picture plane, close and immediate, like words on a billboard, without modelling or chiaroscuro or perspectival depth. In this regard, they recall widely diverse cultural antecedents: the bracingly expressive drawings of naive artists and children; the spiritual markers of “primitive” cultures; the graphic panache of commercial cartoonists; and the cumulative refinements of Eastern ink-and-brush masters, with their knowing collapse of visual space. Thus we here confront, whether we are initially aware of it or not, the distinction between impact and understanding, mystification and meaning. For Kim’s work forcefully reminds us that the apprehension of images is twofold: first one reacts instinctively to a picture, as the representation delivers its immediate, elemental, pre-rational impression. Then one relates that picture, in both its cognitive and emotive aspects, to other images and experiences, via established codes of signification. It is only then that the image begins to mean.” (Richard Vine, “Psychic Exposure: The Art of Peter Kim,” Lyon Artbooks, 2016).

Born in 1967 in South Korea, Peter Kim lives and works in New York. Select exhibitions include: Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Italy (2018). Centro Cultural la Cúpula, Mérida, Mexico, (2017); Galleria San Ludovico, Parma, IT; Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Nice, Nice, France (2016); 1st Beijing 798 Biennale, Beijing, China, Hankook Art Museum, Busan, Korea (2009).



from December 10, 2020 to January 16, 2021


Peter Kim

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