Pia Maria Martin – Haeri Yoo – Yuh-Shioh Wong
January 11 – February 10, 2007
Reception: Thursday, January 11, 6 – 8:30 pm
Thomas Erben presents a compelling group of work by three artists: Marche au Supplice, an animated film by Pia Maria Martin, a combine wall painting by Haeri Yoo, and an installation of paintings and sculptures by Yuh-Shioh Wong.
The connecting factor between these formally diverse works is the visuality of a deliberately pre-cognizant mode of production. As viewers, we find the realms these artists inhabit uncanny – simultaneously familiar and strange – inspiring a cognitive dissonance. This is dealt with through an, albeit fruitless, renegotiating of the images presented to align with what we already know. Content to create their worlds of humour, grotesqueries and fantasy from a unique position, the three artists find the meeting points between figuration and abstraction; materiality and psychology; belief and disbelief.
Translated as "March to the Gallows", Pia Maria Martin's (b.1974, Nuernberg, Germany) analogue stop-animated film shows a chicken's severed head absurdly flailing on a Formica counter top to reconstitute its own dissected body. Employing a skewer, the red yarn of a pot-holder, a sponge and a steel pad, the chicken's efforts – which Martin captures – places the macabre and comedy in communication. Meticulously crafted and supported by Berlioz' "Symphonie fantastique", we indefensibly suspend our disbelief for this haplessly pathetic and monstrously surreal creature. The staccato movement of the film and the revelation of the artists' hand, however, extends our romantic meditation on mortality wherein the material "film" becomes a metaphor of our own physicality. March au Supplice is part of the collection of both Staatsgalerie as well as the Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart. Over the past three years she has shown with Galerie Reinhard Hauff. She currently lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany.
Haeri Yoo (b. 1970, Sangju, Korea) returns with a dramatic, sit-specific wall piece, which explodes and accentuates the bodily tensions her work points to while unifying the specific explorations of her individual pieces. Gestural lines, pencil scrawls, day-glo colored washes and bold patches of paint simplify the figure to an abstract expressionist cartoon. Bringing together her native formal sensibility, forceful female sexuality and motifs of unrest, Yoo masterfully mediates a resolution between beauty and violence. Yoo is an MFA graduate of Pratt Institute and has shown at the Queens Museum of Art and the Bronx River Arts Center. She was recently awarded a Residency at the Henry Street Settlement and has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, NY Newsday and The Star Ledger.
Bringing together a wide array of materials and subject matter including painting, sculpture, the organic world, and synthetic environments Yuh-Shioh Wong (b. 1977, Taipei, Taiwan) creates a world where all is perceived as one. Dreams, memories and the unconscious mind here dictate a fluidity in figuration where each part is given equal weight. Similarly, Wong manipulates painting and sculpture in a manner which defies seperate categorizations. Graphic use of brush line, movement between flat areas of matte color and rough three dimensional dispersions create images and objects which question the viewer's desire to end the continual flux and mutations occurring in her work. It is our socially trained eye which is destabilized in order to accept a simultaneity of all things becoming. Wong holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from Hunter College, New York. She has shown with Foxy Production, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Dinter Fine Arts, The Brooklyn College Art Gallery at the Brooklyn War Memorial and ATM Gallery. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail and Flash Art International.