minhong pyo RE/VISION at high house gallery

23 October 2012 § Leave a comment

In their three previous exhibitions to date High House have exhibited carefully curated group shows: Imagined Pasts /Unknown Futures and Dividing Line (still showing in the attractive gardens) being the most recent. As a break from this short-lived ‘tradition’ Minhong Pyo has a solo show and is the latest artist to feature in the modest but very pleasant gallery space.

Pyo hails from south Korea and as such is one from a rapidly growing roster of dynamic young artists of the highest quality to appear from their exciting art scene. I recently chatted to the organiser of the series of the highly rated ‘Korean Eye’ events (most recently at Saatchi) who reinforced my view that some of the most exciting artists of the current time are coming out of the country. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that China and Japan share in this dynamism – the work from Korea is way more interesting.The exhibition at High House features Pyo’s trademark photographic style. Enigmatic and unidentifiable urban landscapes feature pastel shades and unreal skies.  Architectural elements are slightly displaced or re-ordered and nothing is quite how it seems or how it should be. These almost modernist landscapes despite being photographic also appear to be painted.

Infact Pyo is carefully playing with our perception of reality with images which are carefully manipulated. Windows are removed or switched to slightly unusual positions. Lifelike colours are tweaked in to unreal or neatly ordered pastel shades. Reflections or added elements turn normality into dream.

Pyo has cunningly printed on to canvas in order to encourage the perception of a painted image. Painting of course is accepted as being a version of reality rather than the real thing whilst photography encourages us to accept the truth of the image. These works lie on the borderline. We never know quite where we are.A series of small works accompanies these larger ones. Round images – again photographic – with blurred edges are aligned around two walls. There is no glass or frame to turn these in to simple or decorative photographic image. Mounted on birch panels with rounded corners and painted edges they are tactile objects that fall between painting, sculpture and photograph and that feature ill-defined subjects: perhaps the side of a persons head, some piping, a garden barbecue or a cat.

We gaze at these works as if through a window. They are distant, part-formed and fragmentary thoughts for us to interpret in our own way. They are the realisation of distant half-forgotten memories.

This a particularly well-formed and interesting show from a very interesting young artist. Better still, as a young artist early in his career you will find that these works are exceptional value.

Minhong Pyo RE/VISION is on Thursday to Sunday 11-5 until 18 November 2012

The writer has an interest in the gallery.

london galleries autumn preview

17 August 2010 § Leave a comment

The mid-summer lull in the London gallery schedules allows a moment for contemplation on what looks like a very mixed bag of Autumn shows. I just cannot quite work myself up in to a frenzy of excitment about this motley assortment of old hands and uninspiring newcomers.

Starting with public galleries the blockbuster Gaugin will undoubtedly be the major event of 2010 and amazingly his first major UK exhibition for 5o years.  The Tate Modern promises that the exhibition will explore ‘the role of the myths around the man.’ Starts 30 September – stick it in the diary! Arrive after the 12 October and see what Ai Weiwei has installed as the 11th Turbine Hall commission. Recently involved in the Beijing Olympic stadium and then almost beaten to death for his political views he has said: ‘Everything is art, everything is politics. You can call it art or you can call it politics, I don’t give a damn.’ Should be interesting. 

Over at Tate Britain the schedule, starting 8 September, is totally underwhelming. Eadweard Muybridge (yes, correctly spelt) was a the 19th century photographer who ‘proved that a horse can fly’ with multiple images and anticipated the coming of cinema with the zoopraxiscope. He also travelled and documented America of the time. Just about worth dropping in. 

Rachel Whiteread Drawings is the other choice – but why? Her casts of varied spaces, apart from being a direct steal from Bruce Nauman are getting tedious. Now she says this:  ‘A lot of the works that I’ve been making over the years have been part of a cyclical process. I often feel a cycle is incomplete and need to tread the same path again.’ So now having run out of (someone else’s) ideas all she can do is more of the same again, but this time in drawings. Keep well away! The Gagosian, Daniels Street, is taking advantage with their own Rachel Whiteread exhibition on the 7 September – and I don’t see any reason to bother with this one either.  

The Turner Prize 2010 exhibition is of course at Tate Britain too – from 5 October. Calming down in its old age but an interesting selection. Dexter Dalwood and Angela de la Cruz painting, sound artist Susan Philipsz and the multi-disciplinary Otolith Group. I like Dalwood but the inventive Otolith Group have to be my favourite.

The second part of Newspeak: British Art Now opens at the Satchi on 27 October. Despite the overwhelming mediocrity of the show it is strangely compulsive viewing, and there is a particularly nice cafe. Apart from that I can not wait to update my critics Saatchi league table from my previous posts

Egon Schiele

The Royal Academy’s Treasures of Budapest starts on 25 September. Although there will be the opportunity to save the air fare to Budapest it doesn’t seem to be a show-stopper, but worth a visit. It promises Raphael, El Greco, Manet, Monet, Schiele and Picasso amongst others. 

And now for something completely different? How about the Barbican with Future Fashion: 30 years of Japanese Fashion. Not ‘art’ but could be spectacular. 

Of the smaller Galleries the Camden Arts Centre always seems to have something interesting. On 23 September Rene Daniels’ opens. His interesting work is ‘permeated through and through with writing, word games, literary references, visual puns, and allusions to art movements, institutions, and mass media.’ 

Of the private galleries Hauser & Wirth’s opens its expansive new Savile Row space on the 15 October with a Fabric Works of Louise Bourgeois – hardly inspirational, but I look forward to seeing the gallery. Of their other exhibitions the Piccadilly branch has the first posthumous show of Jason Rhoades’ opening 24 September. The exhibition features ’1:12 Perfect World’, Rhoades’ scale model of his groundbreaking 1999 exhibition, ‘Perfect World’ in Hamburg. Ho-hum. 

At Haunch of Venison there is the strange choice of Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper, starting 24 September, which nevertheless looks like it may be quite interesting. Meanwhile do not miss the excellent Joana Vasconcelos and quirky animal-stuffer Polly Morgan whose exhibitions are currently on until the 25 September! 

At the White Cube, Masons yard Christian Marclay opens on the 15 October: ‘Over the past 30 years, Christian Marclay has explored the fusion of fine art and audio cultures, transforming sounds and music into a visible, physical form through performance, collage, sculpture, installation, photography and video.’ Meanwhile over at WC Hoxton on 13 October Mark Bradford’s ‘multi-layered collaged paintings incorporating materials found in the urban environment’. Both may be worth a look but hardly captivating.  


Jacco Olivier

The pick of the rest are Jacco Olivier at Victoria Miro from 7 September – Olivier fuses colourful paintings with video – his works are delightful and fascinating. Finally Marina Abramovic is at the Lisson – god knows what we will see from the ‘grandmother of performance art’ but it is well worth a detour! 

There we go – the best of the autumn? Not great and, in respect of painting very lop-sided. The public galleries mostly with retrospective painting, the private with, well all sorts from taxidermy to performance but pretty much steering away from anything on canvas . No demand? No talent? Are the private galleries out of sync with what the public wants – or is it the Public galleries? I will leave you to ponder the mystery…. 
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