As Roland Barthes insisted in his essay, ‘The Death of The Author (1968)’, a concept of ‘the creation of art’ can be interpreted in a broad context, instead of following its lexical meaning, since producing an artwork is inevitably associated with diverse relevant aspects such as not only its motif, style, notion, technique, but also the artist’s society and a relationship with his contemporaries. This exhibition sets up those factors as ‘Prelude’ and gathers five artists who accept these fundamental properties, yet employ them and provoke ‘Subversion’ to them with their own perceptions and manners in oder to generate pieces of originality. Five artists from varied countries, Rodney Graham (b. 1949), David Diao (b. 1943), Koen van den Broek (b. 1973), Je Yeo Ran (b. 1961), and Oh You Kyeong (b. 1979) participate in the exhibition to construct another world which exists in a realm between imitation and creation.
Canadian artist, Rodney Graham presents artworks with a sense of humour, referencing to novelists, musicians and psychologists, in respect of his practice’s literary, philosophical and musical sides. He pursues a diversity of styles and media by exploiting painting, photography, film, performance and music. He engaged attention through ‘Inverted Dripping’ series considerably affected by Abstract Expressionism artist, Morris Louis (1912-1962). His practice irregularly unfolds simple patterns of vigorous colours and consequently arouses nostalgia for Group Zero’s geometrical abstraction.
Chinese-American artist, David Diao shows mystical and compelling paintings through simple patterns and colour faces. He is deeply influenced by Barnett Newman, one of the major figure in Abstract Expressionism. Accordingly, he releases artworks whose mode stems from Monochrome paintings which consist of minimal solid colours and lines. His pictures remind of Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) and Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)’s infinite and concise morphological atmosphere.
Belgian artist, Koen van den Broek displays pieces inspired by John Chamberlain (1927-2011)’s sculptures of a scrap metal assemblage. Koen van den Broek newly transfers Chamberlain’s irregular abstract shapes with a sense of weight caused by unsystematic deployments of old automobiles’ parts and industrial waste, onto surfaces of his paintings. Afterimages of orange and green colours bring about a powerful energy and expose Painting’s unique inherent nature responding to Sculpture’s.
Je Yeo Ran generates paintings where an exhilarating sense of rhythm and heavy colour sensations coexist. Instead of using brushes, she employs squeegees, rubber rollers that are generally used for wiping away water surplus from a surface. Traits of her practice are abundant textures and heavy paint lumps suggesting its prime of American Abstract Expressionism. In terms of formality, she follows bold gestures of Abstract Expressionism, whereas she produces entirely unique outcomes through her daring technique and Matière gained by the distinctive device, squeegees.
Oh You Kyeong introduces artworks conveying a silversmith’s craftsmanship which she experienced in one of the most renowned French gold and silver work atelier, Puiforcat. Using skills that she trained in the workshop, Oh combines silver-plated metals to make different sizes and shapes of six towers based on Asian stone pagoda. She adopts several natural objects such as mountains, lakes and crystals as a main motif to create geometric and steric models. They reflect their surroundings into infinite forms and continue spreading and circulating; they arouses similarities to a certain circularity revealed in Bill Viola (1951-)’s oeuvre.
The exhibition, ‘Prelude/Subversion’ attempts to underline the relation between two notions, Creation and Appropriation, in the history of contemporary art and to lead a deeper exploration of artists’ original visual language by presenting successful outcomes which adopt ‘Preludes’ and make their ‘Subversion’. As the presented works in the exhibition could be reinterpreted and subverted regardless of their first intention, the show leaves tasks of proposing each work’s preludes, reading traces of masters in them and discovering an attachment point to the past at unexpected spots, for spectators.