re·flec·tive – 1. deeply or seriously thoughtful; 2. capable of physically reflecting light or sound; 3. “a reflective surface”; 4. devoted to matters of the mind.
re·flex·ion – 1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected; 2. something reflected or the image so produced, as by a mirror; 3. careful or long consideration or thought; expression without words…”tears are an expression of grief”; “the pulse is a reflection of the heart’s condition”.
The works of Corban Walker and Carrie Yamaoka embody a rejuvenation and continued dialogue with Minimalism that is propelled by an engagement with new materials and technologies. Yamaoka and Walker each beautifully extend the post-Minimalist moment broached and developed by their predecessor Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The works of all three artists, subtly infused as they are with social and political ideas and desires, nevertheless express something very personal that is beyond ideology, tempered by a profoundly rigorous formal continuity. The challenges presented by the sexuality of Gonzalez-Torres and Yamaoka, the Asian American identity of Yamaoka, and by Walker’s physical stature, each comprise an emotional complexity that lends a very real gravity to their works. And yet, the more difficult, chaotic and thorny issues are encrypted in clean, clear materials that are reflective, reflexive, formally exquisite and ultimately seductive.
Corban Walker (b. Dublin, Ireland) graduated with honors from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, with a degree in Fine Art Sculpture, in 1992, and has lived and worked in New York since 2004. Walker first exhibited at PaceWildenstein’s Greene Street gallery in the fall of 2000 and his work was included in the gallery’s “Logical Conclusions” exhibition alongside works by key artists from the 20th century who use objective systems to explore the complex and chaotic realms of the subjective. In 2008, Walker worked with master glass fabricators specializing in Borosilicate glass in a glass factory near Prague in the Czech Republic. Walker required that the glass be blown into a rectilinear mold, creating hollow glass rectangles that he then stacked. Glass always wants to be spherical, and when enormous stress is applied to create rectilinear objects, the glass becomes awkward, defying the norm. Walker questions the assumption of the rules of scale and measure that we hold on to as the basis of our relationship between body and structure. He is represented by The Pace Gallery, New York.
Carrie Yamaoka lives and works in New York City. Her work has been exhibited widely in the US and internationally, including Galerie Lange&Pult, Zurich, Galerie Une, Auvernier, Switzerland; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, Austria; Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, Netherlands; Artists Space, New York; Bard College; The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; in “Vanishing Point” at the Wexner Center; “Mirror, Mirror” at Mass MOCA; and in “Extreme Abstraction” at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Yamaoka has been making paintings of reflective mylar encapsulated in resin for over a decade. She works with a reflective ground that is empty of content but full of incident. The site in which the work is situated, the passing viewer, the ambient light in the room, serve alternately – and simultaneously – as subject and reflected object. Air bubbles, liquid sluices and other artifacts of production reveal a layered archaeology of process while forming loci for an otherwise shifting and fluid gaze.
Joy Garnett is a painter who lives and works in New York. Her past curatorial projects include “Night Vision” at White Columns, NY, “Things Fall Apart” at Winkleman Gallery, and “Out of the Blue”, a traveling exhibition co-organized with Joy Episalla and Amy Lipton. She is represented by Winkleman Gallery, New York.