New York City, April 14, 2011… Awakening features the most recent oil paintings by artist Jenny Nelson and mixed media collage by Keun Young Park.
Awakening celebrates the beginning of spring, when the earth and its inhabitants come alive with lush greenery, blue skies, chirping birds, and a sense of optimism for the future.
Though both Nelson and Park re-create the natural beauty they see around them, their visions take very different paths. Nelson’s oils suggest abstract landscapes, painted in earthy pastel tones – greens, blues, teals and browns, with occasional accents of orange which might suggest a wildflower. A bold grey stroke leaves the viewer with a sense of rocks, or permanence. And her use of blue reflects her affinity for water. Nelson is also influenced by spaces where she creates her work, such as studios in barns, sheds and en pleine air in the countryside.
Nelson applies layer upon layer of paint and scrapes the canvas with her favored device – a small and narrow triangular palate knife – to get a sense of depth and subtle color bleeding that gives the sensation of movement, as in a stream or cloud-filled sky. Creating both large and small works, Ms. Nelson lets the viewer interpret the exact place or moment, and know that they are witnessing the earth at its finest.
Park has created mixed media collages made of photographs cut into thousands of tiny pieces which she then re-assembles onto paper where they are then mounted and framed under glass. Her recent works of micro-collage and paper mosaic capture the tremor of unstable presence. Park takes pictures of parts of the body or face, changes the color and saturation of those images by photoshopping, prints them out on paper, then tears the pictures and pastes them back together piece-by-piece. Painstakingly, she creates images of people morphing gradually into trees and flora, their bodies magically transformed into composites of the human and of natural elements. However improbable this might seem, the marriage of the androgynous form and nature here seems normal and somehow even expected because of the graceful depictions and the extremely detailed work. Using beautiful colors and creating depth and shadows with the collage, her work seems to burst with energy and exuberance. Both Nelson’s and Park’s works, inspired by nature, are graceful and elegant, and create for the viewer an anticipation for and a visual celebration of spring.
Of her work, Nelson states:
Although my early artistic training was focused on the classical and representational, it has always been my natural instinct to depict my surroundings in abstract forms. Most of the paintings evolve as an intuitive reaction to my surroundings… To evoke this kind of sensory memory in my work I apply many layers of paint, using gesture and an internal sense of color. Traces of previous layers will remain visible, allowing colors to interact in ways I could not have anticipated. In this way a composition is arrived at through a series of decisions that are both conscious and unconscious. With great sensitivity to these evolving colors and forms, a very personal abstract language emerges. Focusing on particular shapes or compositions for long periods of time will often result in a series of closely related paintings, which have fully explored my current interest. Nelson has been exhibiting in solo and group shows for the past ten years. She attended Maine College of Art in Portland, and received a BFA from Bard College, where she received a scholarship to the Lacoste School of the Arts in France. She was an artist in resident at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony from 2004-2008, and has been an instructor at the Woodstock School of Art from 2009 through the present. Her work hangs in private and public collections throughout the country. Nelson lives and works in Woodstock, New York.
Keun Young Park
Of her inspirations and process, Park states:
In my work, I reflect upon the astatic character of existence in the flow of time as well as the opposite sides of nature – negative and positive, construction and destruction, presence and absence, and life and death. I believe that everything is constantly changing, either being generated or destroyed. Presence is just a state of being and the reality of an object has ambiguity in this shifting. Through this process of breaking down photo images and recomposing them, figures have thousands of tiny particles and textures that make the images look blurry and tremulous.
The pieces featured in Awakening are Park’s most recent works, from her “Dream Series”. Here Keun reveals a more narrative story than in her past work, imagining a territory, as she describes, which is “beyond consciousness”
- an awakening of the human spirit.
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Park received her BFA and MFA from Seoul National University. After working and exhibiting her work throughout Seoul, she relocated to Brooklyn five years ago, and began showing her work in galleries and exhibiting her work in art fairs throughout the U.S. She has also competed in and received first prize in numerous juried shows. She was the recipient of last year’s A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship, and won the Curator’s Choice Award at ATAO in New York in 2008. This is Park’s first exhibition at Tria Gallery.
It is the mission of Tria Gallery to exhibit a balance of established artists with impressive resumes and exciting young talent, showing representational and abstract work, painting, sculpture, mixed media and installations. The common denominator is that the Tria artist has a unique, authentic voice and a compelling body of work which the directors feel should be given an audience.