NEW YORK, NY.- Y Gallery
presents Demoiselles dAvignon, Christopher K. Hos first solo exhibition at the space. Continuing his exploration of class and identity, here Ho revisits the concept of the primitive and its relationship to the history of abstraction in Western culture.
Accounts of primitivism nearly always issue from the viewpoint of the master, whether they romanticize the primitive other or critique precisely such fetishistic relationships. In contrast Ho asks: What if we in the US circa 2013 are the primitives? After over a century of Western abstraction, might not the latters principlesof objectivity, of negation, of transparency, of liberationstand as the naïve beliefs of a backwards culture that has yet to catch up with globalization and its aesthetic correlates? And might embracing the secondary position of the primitive secure relevance if not dominancethat is, trade pole position for some position?
As A.E. Benenson writes about the exhibition, In this installation, Abstraction is the primitive Other. For Ho, the primitive describes not so much, say, masks from Africa, as any cultural product that is simultaneously retrograde and alluring precisely because of some perceived simplicity.
That simplicity is embodied here in nine compositions made of cut watermarked paper and Color-aid that are held between glass sheets and mirrors. These workscrosses between abstract paintings and coffee tablesrest on chunks of ebony, alabaster, bleached white oak, and black-and-white 3D-printed ceramic. Wall-to-wall white carpet covers the floor and will dirty over the exhibitions course.
The sole wall piece in the exhibition is a large print with the same aspect ratio as Picassos breakthrough 1907 painting. It features a digitally distorted montage of the Spaniards sketches for the work. A fan-shaped bronze-tinted mirror, poised between upright and recumbent, interrupts the bottom edge. Y Gallery, it suggests, is both a real and pictorial space that stages an encounter between a subject and some tantalizing other.
Christopher K. Ho (b. 1974, Hong Kong) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Privileged White People at Forever & Today, Inc., New York, and Lesbian Mountains in Love at the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines. He has participated in the Chinese, Busan, and Incheon (South Korea) Biennials and exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, and the Queens Museum of Art. His work has been featured in Art in America, Art Papers, Artforum.com, ArtReview, Bomb, Modern Painters, The New York Times, and TimeOut New York.