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Pia Maria Martin, Haeri Yoo, and Yuh-Shioh Wong


Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street, 4th Floor, 212-645-8701
January 11 - February 10, 2007
Reception: Thursday, January 11, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

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 humor, grotesqueries and fantasy from unique positions, 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, N├╝rnberg, 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 – place 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 artist’s hand, however, extends our romantic meditation on mortality wherein the material “film” becomes a metaphor of our own physicality. Marche au Supplice is part of the collection of both Staatsgalerie as well as the Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart. Over the past three years, Martin has shown with Galerie Reinhard Hauff and has participated in numerous group shows including the Kunsthalle Friderizianum, Kassel, and the Kirchner Museum, Davos. She currently lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany.

Haeri Yoo (b. 1970, Sangju, Korea) returns with a dramatic, site-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. An MFA graduate of Pratt Institute, she has shown at the Queens Museum of Art and the Bronx River Arts Center. The artist 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 painting, sculpture, the organic world, and synthetic environments in a manner which lacks appreciation of a distinction between self and other, 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 separate 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.
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