Jinny Yu debuts new abstract paintings in first AGO solo exhibition
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Jinny Yu debuts new abstract paintings in first AGO solo exhibition
Jinny Yu. Inextricably Ours 23-08, 2023. Oil on aluminum, 152.4 × 139.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist. © Jinny Yu. Photo: Rémi Thériault.

TORONTO.- On view now at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Jinny Yu: at once marks a luminous return to colour by acclaimed artist Jinny Yu. Featuring new abstract paintings and works on paper made over the past two years, the exhibition is Yu’s first solo exhibition at the AGO.

A celebrated artist and educator who divides her time between Berlin and Ottawa, Yu describes her work as a reflection of “tensions between the sense of belonging…and sense of non- and/or un-belonging.” Born in Seoul, Korea, Yu’s large-scale abstract paintings have brought her international renown and her site-specific installation Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was exhibited during the 2015 Venice Biennale.

at once marks the first museum presentation of works from Yu’s new series, Inextricably Ours (2021- ongoing) and features nine oil paintings on aluminum and thirteen works on paper. In each artwork, geometric forms of varying shades - orange, yellow, red, green, pink and purple – shift and float. Inspired by Edwin A. Abbott's 1884 satirical novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, which described a two-dimensional world inhabited by geometric figures, in each artwork, Yu uses a different configuration of colours and geometric forms to explore potential relationships between figure and ground, volume and flatness, guest and host.

“In these exciting new works Yu continues to ask questions about the history and dynamics of colonialism – finding in geometry and colour, a new formal and conceptual language to consider what it means to be a guest on Indigenous land,” says Georgiana Uhlyarik, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, AGO. “Radiating with colour and energy, these artworks both challenge and underscore the two-dimensional constraints of painting. I am so pleased to share them with our audiences.”

Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1976, Jinny Yu’s previous work has been shown widely, including exhibitions in Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, UK and USA. She was an artist in residence at La Napoule Art Foundation in France, BoxoPROJECTS in Joshua Tree, the KIAC in Dawson City, ISCP in New York, Seoul Museum of Art Nanji Studios, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts among others. Yu, Professor of painting at the University of Ottawa, was awarded the Mid-Career Artist Award by Ottawa Arts Council in 2013; Laura Ciruls Painting Award from Ontario Arts Foundation in 2012; and was a finalist for the Pulse Prize New York in 2011 and 2014. Her exhibition Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was presented during the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

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