Slag Gallery is pleased to present Being Becomes, featuring the latest works of Brooklyn-based artists Johee Kim and Kate Minford.
Minford’s works exist within themes of female identity and the (dis)junction of craftsmanship and fine art, while Johee Kim investigates intimacy, tension, and mortality through an exploration of video, photography and sculpture. Being Becomes focuses on the nature, possibility and value of the at-times gendered, “female” materials the artists use, while straddling the line between sculpture, craft and painting.
The work of Johee Kim explores the relation of human emotion and the material, utilizing a delicate aesthetic to experiment with visual/tactile sensations and how they interrelate and differ. With a keen interest in temporality and change, Kim is fascinated by the transmutable concepts of being and nothingness, and the grey areas and boundaries possible in both. In Six Reflections, the artist plays with shifting perspectives, hidden layers of meaning, and literary metaphor, while Daphne and Lost Pleasure instill the viewer with a sense of loss, grief, and the quiet beauty of life in death. At times bearing reference to authors such as Milton and Ovid, Kim draws on various intellectual greats of philosophy, literature, and theory in the creation of densely thematic, multifarious work.
Physical negotiation with materials is similarly central to Minford’s artistic practice. She fashions her thread works by lofting different colored thread onto canvas one by one to create undulating surfaces and deeply textured abstractions. Here, the displacement of the thread from its normal context engenders pieces such as “Starry Night” with a deeper understanding of the inherent materiality of the medium.
Simultaneously fragile and solid, Minford’s intricate pieces feature strong colors and bold gestures, and are intimately sized to draw the viewer in to focus on the minute details. Working in a traditionally-minded way, as in glazing, Minford layers the threads color by color to guide the eye of the viewer through the holes and rises that naturally form between the strands. Leading in this way, the works play with the delicate push and pull of layers, textures and space in order to create labyrinthine images that open up over the viewing process.
Johee Kim is a visual artist from Seoul, Korea, currently based in New York City. She received a BFA degree in Sculpture from Hongik University in Seoul, and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has work in a collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, has been a guest instructor at Columbia University, NYU, Hongik University, and Ewha University. She has also gone through residencies at both Gowanus Studio Space and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and has exhibited work at Cheim & Read, NY; Gallery Onetwentyeight, NY; Project FAIR, NY; and the Korean Cultural Center, CA, to name a few. Her work has been appeared in the likes of Art News, Art Price, and The Korea Times.
Kate Minford studied at both the University of the Arts for illustration and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts to pursue sculpture, receiving merit scholarships to both institutions. In 2011, Minford was accepted into the residency program at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn to continue her focus on fiber-based work, and in 2013 she joined the Emerson Landing Residency in Wye Mills, MD. Her work continues to be exhibited nationally, in both group and solo shows, in spaces such as Piedàterre, San Francisco; TWCHNT, Brooklyn; and Vox Populi, Philadelphia, to name a few.