Home Within Home

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Home Within Home
Kris Scheifele

Do Ho Suh is a wanderer. He is compelled to move but always wants to bring home with him. Since he has developed the ability to make a home wherever he is, things are starting to pile up. A case in point is Suh’s signature transportable fabric installation piece, Seoul Home… (1999), a diaphanous and ghostly, green full-scale rendition of his traditional Korean childhood residence. It serves Suh as a kind of security blanket, that can be packed in a suitcase. As Seoul Home… travels from one exhibition site to another, its title is emended to reflect that history: Seoul Home/ L.A. Home/New York Home/Baltimore Home/London Home/Seattle Home… In this way, Seoul always remains the point of origin, but recedes into memory as “home” becomes an aggregate of every place the piece goes. While Seoul Home…, was not itself included in Suh’s recent show at Lehmann Maupin, its presence reverberated throughout the exhibition. This first appeared as a parachute in Fallen Star 1/5, a 1/5-scale model of the Rhode Island house where Suh lived while attending RISD, with his childhood Korean home crashed into the back of it. The house-parachute, deflated on the floor, softened the impact.

A monument of craftsmanship and detail, Fallen Star 1/5 pays homage to the jarring cultural displacement and homesickness Suh felt landing in the U.S. as an undergrad. Standing over ten feet tall and sliced diagonally to reveal its interior, Fallen Star 1/5 endlessly fascinates. In the Rhode Island home, which is divided into several apartments, the sheer quantity of objects speaks to the American preoccupation with material accumulation while revealing its residents are: skateboards and heavy metal posters for the rebellious adolescent, African statues and framed fine art repros for the globe trotter, and so on. Here, Suh’s investigation of home and transience intersects with another thematic thread in his work, the opposition between individual and the collective. While the objects are supposed to be distinguishing features of individuality, the people (who are absent from the scene) are recognizable because they are familiar types. Similarly familiar are the sparse, grubby decor of Suh’s student digs and his coping strategy. Food is the palliative balm he uses on his severed roots—miniature dumplings and noodles sit on a coffee table opposite a rubble-covered couch. A sketch of a house with legs sits on a tiny worktable.

Sharing the same space as this simultaneously large and small crashsite are drawings in which Suh’s homes are always connected, sometimes violently, sometimes holistically. In one instance, a toothy green house gobbles a smaller red one; in another, he strings his international domestic experiences into a cohesive whole, stacking and connecting rooms from disparate locales. This show maps how far Suh has come in more ways than one.

Suh’s work, however, shines brightest in its subtler, less literal forms. The fabric sculptures from the Specimen Series, made in the same way as Seoul Home…, are elegant meditations on quotidian domestic detail. Often overlooked, utilitarian objects—hinges, latches, switches, icetrays, and doorknobs—are Suh’s way into intimate contact with new surroundings. Rendered in sheer polyester—blue for his New York City apartment and mossy green his Berline residence—these 1:1-scale, 3-D replicas are pinned in place like ethereal creatures in frames and Plexiglass boxes, hung in clusters on the wall. Here again, Suh’s attention to detail is so fine that he even includes the instructional text on the circuit breaker panel. Small enough to be crumpled up into a pocket, these trace objects serve as crib notes for places never to be forgotten.

Finally, in a separate space at the back of the gallery, Suh installed a smaller, more solid version of Seoul Home… Here, the gallery walls were painted black to protect Home Within Home, the show’s eponymous piece, because it is delicate in another way: it is made of non-archival photosensitive resin. This translucent material glows space-alien green, revealing Suh’s childhood home once again, only this time embedded within the house from Rhode Island like a troika doll. Cut into quadrants and sitting about hip-height on wheeled carts, this sculpture pulled apart to allow viewers to walk through the merged homes. As they do, they enact the drawing of the house with legs seen earlier on the miniature work table. From a distance, viewers appear to give the house legs by walking through it, and they do as they take the memory of Suh’s homes with them wherever they go.

***Do Ho Suh’s Home Within Home is on view until October 22, 2011 at Lehmann Maupin, New York.

*** This article was published by NY Arts Magazine, 2011. Sponsored by Broadway Gallery, NYC.

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Igor Calvo Postive Feedback, NY Arts

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Dear Mr Lubelski,

it is quite hard to find nowadays a magazine and website where it can be found so much and so good information about the  contemporary art scene. Therefore, and first of all, congratulations for your work in the sometimes complicated task of promoting, broadcasting, spreading and supporting initiatives in the world of art and culture.

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Yours faithfully,

Igor Calvo
Communications manager
PhaKe On-Line Art Gallery

NYArts and Broadway Gallery, Williem de Kooning

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Willem de Kooning Re-Writes Modernism at MoMA
Harriet Zinnes

There is no doubt that Willem de Kooning (l904-l997) is one of the most significant artists of the New York School. In this exhibition that will continue through January 12, 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art of almost 200 works within seven decades of the artist’s development the viewer can certainly agree with the curator John Elderfield that “de Kooning opened radical options for painting that ask us to reconsider how its modernist history should be told.” Here is an artist who worked not only in painting but also on drawings, prints, sculptures and created unusual works on paper. He is an artist who made statements about art that were always forceful and provocative. In 1949, for instance, he declared that “flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented.” And he believed in change in art, its constant new refinements. “Art,” he said, “should not have to be a certain way.” And in these seven decades of the artist’s work, by way of seven galleries, it is clear that his art is not done only in one way. Abstraction sits side by side with figuration, and both are glowing art. Consider, for example, his “Pink Angels” (1945).

Read more at NY Arts…

NYArts and Broadway Gallery, Occupy Wall St.

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Occupy Wall Street: NYC Wakes Up
Rose Hobart

Late 16th France, while one of the richest and most powerful nations in Europe at the time, was facing formidable economic difficulty. Louis XVI, his ministers, and the nobility quickly found themselves unpopular. This was largely due to the fact, that the peasant classes were burdened with incredibly high taxes levied to support wealthy aristocrats and their lavish lifestyles. This was the start of the French Revolution. Sound familiar?

History repeats itself. As artists, activists, and people of all walks of life gather to occupy Wall Street, we realize that some things change, others stay the same. On this list includes: rising unemployment, slashes to education and the arts, the disparity between the rich and poor.

 

Read more at NY Arts…