Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Ideal and Emergence, an exhibition of new work by Helen Cho.
Helen Cho makes finely rendered drawings on leatherette using ballpoint pen. In her work, she combines seemingly disparate elements from Renaissance painting, primatology, and science fiction films. As a result, evolutionary stories meet popular culture, the chronology of history is upset, and characters of fiction co-exist in the same space as real people. For example, a portrait of renowned scientist Jane Goodall is rendered in the style of Sandro Boticelli’s 15th century painting, Portrait of a Young Woman. In another work, Cho uses a similar style to depict the actress Sigourney Weaver as scientist Dian Fossey in the movie Gorillas in the Mist (1988). In Supercontinent, a medieval battle scene inspired by Paolo Uccellos’ The Rout of San Romano (c.1456) is juxtaposed with the figure of Moonwatcher, the prehistoric ape-man from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), who is seen clutching his newly discovered weapon.
Also on view will be a large installation of almost 200 black martial arts belts that will blanket the gallery’s south wall. The black belts, typically associated with competition, skill and rank, are presented in an unexpected arrangement that calls to mind Frank Stella’s black paintings from the 1960s as well as the enigmatic monolith from Kubrick’s film.
Helen Cho is a Korean born Canadian artist who lives and works in Berlin. This will be her first solo show in New York.