Helena Anrather is pleased to present TICK, an exhibition of new work by Cindy Ji Hye Kim. Comprised of large-scale paintings and a related series of works on paper, the exhibition will be on view from May 16 through June 23, 2017. TICK marks Kim’s first solo exhibition in New York City.
Cindy Ji Hye Kim’s paintings and works on paper are marked by a relationship to the visual strategies of cartooning and illustration, which she uses to assemble pictures that teeter on the edge of legibility. Her images begin to suggest narratives, much like the first frame of an animated sequence, but the absence of animation or text suspends her scenarios in moments of dramatic tension. Kim pulls her imagery from sources as wide ranging as Korean folk-art and Goya’s political drawings, and she renders her compositions in a decidedly flat and exaggerated manner, which has the effect of radically flattening the space in her work. Her forms push incredibly close to the surface of her paintings, as though her images were on the verge of breaking beyond the picture plane.
Kim’s paintings are composed in a monochromatic grisaille palette, suggesting the history of black and white movies, or silent films. Her monochromatic figures push, pull, poke, and shove their way through their environments, in a series of slapstick gestures that seem to suggest amplified sound effects, like the squelch of poking someone in the eye, or the kaboom of an exploding bomb. But in the absence of such sounds, Kim’s images are shot through with the feeling that something is trying to escape from them. The scenarios Kim describes are often violent, or perched on the edge of potential catastrophe, and paired with the suggestion of sound and motion, her paintings call attention to the act of viewing. Kim’s work acknowledges the position of the viewer as an onlooker, and with her use of exaggerated violence and knockabout gestures, her work begins to interrogate the politics of looking.