Theresa Kim "Washington Square: Then and After 1973-2010"

Ethan Cohen Fine Arts

poster for Theresa Kim "Washington Square: Then and After 1973-2010"

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ETHAN COHEN FINE ARTS presents the US debut photography exhibition, Washington Square: then and after 1973-2010, and an accompanying book launch for celebrated Korean artist Theresa Kim. As one of the most prominent and pioneering photographers in Korea during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kim captured the unique cultural spirit and atmosphere of her time through her highly liberated ‘unposed’ camera techniques as well as her radically distinctive approach to color photography, which had just been introduced to the Korean photography scene in the late 1960s. In 1968, she took the Silver Prize for her black and white photograph in the third Dong-A International Photo Salon in Seoul and in two consecutive years, won the Gold Prize for three different photo competitions each year. In 1970 and 1972 she had two major solo exhibitions, The Secret Garden, and Wind respectively. In 1972, she immigrated to the US with her husband and son. After a year in Chicago, she moved to New York City. While attending English classes at New York University, she discovered the immense collective dynamism and intense avant-garde spirit of Greenwich Village as she “stumbled into” Washington Square Park. Without fear or the natural sense of restraint arising from culture shock or imposed cultural barriers, Kim boldly enters the space of her subjects and photographs them with acute perception of movement, expression, spatial relations and perspective, in keeping with her earlier photographic work in Korea. Kim’s camera-eye creates a sweeping and evocative portrait of Washington Square Park as an “open” public space and forum, mirroring the fervor of the 1970s countercultural ethos in both intimate and panoramic views of people and place, the individual and the spectacle. Spanning a period of over 30 years, Kim’s photographic series documents the cultural and social transformation of Washington Square Park, moving from black and white in the 1970s to color in the aftermath of September 11. A pervasive and marked absence of a “collective” public is reflected in the dramatic contrast of Kim’s post-9/11 color photography of the park. We are left with images of an embodied urban landscape of memory, in need of remembering and of forging a new vision of cultural gathering and identity so poignantly summoned by Theresa Kim’s indelible record of a time and place.



from December 15, 2011 to January 08, 2012

Opening Reception on 2011-12-15 from 18:00 to 20:00


Theresa Kim

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