ART TO SEE IN JUNE
Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Indian #5, Face 45.50), 2014, oil on cardboard
Mark Grotjahn, born in 1968, is a Los Angeles-based artist who explores non-representational painting. His current show at Blum & Poe Gallery, Fifteen Paintings, is his seventh solo exhibition with the LA gallery. These fifteen paintings (oil on cardboard mounted on canvas) are grounded by a central white vertical axis from which the composition radiates outward. To achieve the desired effect, Grotjahn uses a palette knife to drag, scrape and feather the dense layers of oil paint. The show is open through June 20, 2015.
Catherine Opie, Kara, 2013
In her portraiture, Opie uses a black drop-cloth background and dramatic lighting, resulting in an intimate image that captures the subject's unique character. Her subjects range from renowned artists such as Kara Walker, Matthew Barney and Miranda July, to athletes like Diana Nyad, and writers including Jonathan Franzen. The landscape photographs that are on view are abstract in their lack of detail. Opie has referred to nature as a "dream state," and these photographs are inspired by that idea.
Catherine Opie,Untitled #9, 2013
KIM DONG YOO
Living Together, a collection of new paintings by Korean artist Kim Dong Yoo, born in 1965, is on view at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York through June 20, 2015. In this new work, instead of exploring contemporary subjects head on, Yoo takes on canonized historical works of art and religious iconography, manipulating and changing them to give them a contemporary feel.
Kim Dong Yoo, Butterflies-Andy Warhol, 2014, acrylic on canvas
From afar, Yoo's paintings seem simple and self-explanatory, but when viewed up close, they reveal complex design and construction, suggesting the subjectivity of visual perception. Through his work, Yoo challenges the idea of an "iconic" image, as most of these images have been reproduced millions of times on posters. Yoo often uses butterflies throughout his work, as symbols of both immortality and the artificiality of image-making. He also uses an illusion of cracked paint to evoke the decay of oil paintings over time. These technical illusions are used as a virtual bridge between the past, present and future in the pursuit of image creation.