Artist Profiles

Ik-Song Jin
A Decor - 1996
mixed media on welded steel
78 x 48 inches (198.12 x 121.92 cm

		Ik-Song Jin,	"ON STEEL PAPER"

		The act of creation for an artist can be considered as the destruction of the routine. Even though one may not 
		be an artist, one may experience some revelation, truth or fresh love like an awakening through which we 
		mature and change.

		Changes can provide humans a mask which shows outward appearances and an inner contemplative faculty. 
		So how would this translate during the age of infancy, adolescence, middle age and older years? Everyone 
		has his or her own ideology and is a slave to it. It is too difficult for humans to imagine or understand and 
		consider things outside their own experience.

		We may sometimes experience a new life through an awakening. I think this is a wonderful accident. On the 
		other hand, this is an incident for me to realize that I am a human.

		The holes in my work remind me of Oriental paper doors which were once commonly used. An Oriental paper 
		door is a kind of wall divider, separating the inside from the outside. But because of its nature, by accident 
		or mere curiosity we can make a hole in the paper door. The result brings a new exchange between the two 
		previously divided spaces, which is a wall starting to break down. The transfusion of two different worlds is 
		about to take place.

		We can never have a new worldly experience before looking through the other space through the hole. The 
		small hole through which we can see the other space, functions as a window leading toward the truth and 
		reality.

		The inspiration for my work is the process of revelation which breathes new life, and it is this experience 
		which I hope one will find in my art.

		Ik-Song Jin, May, 2000

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Pedro Cuni/B
Manhattan Ave - 2000
encaustic on wood panel
22 x 33 inches (55.88 x 83.82 cm)

		Pedro Cuni B.
		In my work, I seek an intensity that emerges from naturalness. It is not an easy task, as one has to be very 
		attentive in order not to confuse it with what is normal in our environment and what we dislike. What is normal 
		are the things that make our lives routine and unsubstantial. I look for the feeling of normality found In the 
		harmonic relationship between a person and his/her physical and spiritual environment, in which the desire 
		for wellbeing is fulfilled. I'm referring to the appearance of normality that shows the world when peace of spirit 
		has been attained. In other words, I want to paint the world as I would like a normal one to be. That is why I 
		apply this criterion as the main guide during my painting process. Sometimes I insert an element or a 
		brush-stroke, which, in theory, could be effective, but when I see it, it does not turn out to be normal in relation 
		to the rest of the painting. Then I know I have to modify it. The double intention of normality and intensity makes 
		me also change those elements that I thought would be normal, but once painted prove to have no intensity. 

		Pedro Cuni B.  May 2000
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Pavel Kraus
Altar 3/Red - 2000
wood, beeswax, quilt
42 x 45 x 23 inches (106.68 x 114.3 x 58.42 cm)

	
		Pavel Kraus 

		The contradictory objects of Pavel Kraus represent the difference we culturally assign between objects of 
		industrial production/use, and, an elevated status of artistic uniqueness. The works rely on a dual essence; 
		they allude to a ritualized context, but no particular myth, just as they refer to specific types of objects without 
		being those objects. While implicitly formally reductive works, they aspire to a narrative reading and 
		medication imposed on the materials, which allude, but never confirm their metaphoric associations. Such 
		indeterminacy intentionally muddies, rather than clarifies their qualitative objecthood.

		These obtuse constructs hearken back to the look of process works, but disdain the politicized, conceptual 
		basis for those concerns, substituting a romantically expressive style, which does not disown its decorative 
		allusions.

		Kraus often employs contradictory pains of adverbs; natural/artificial, hard/soft, intimate/generic, 
		seductive/repellent, perhaps to show how easily one tips toward the other depending on the contextual 
		fulcrum point of any perceptual apparatus. As a species of eccentric, minimalist "Grand Guignol", the 
		materials Kraus chooses encourage a relatively quick working method, which also allows for a personal 
		gestured response to register. The more it pushes for either decorative or transgressive metaphors, the 
		more it relinquishes connections to Formal objecthood or Minimalist reductivism. A raw spontaneity is 
		reigned in only by a controlling geometry. Natural irregularities vie with intentional manipulation to cancel or 
		provoke readings as evocative gesture. An overt theatricality prevents objects from becoming pure process.

		Kraus encourages expression rather than explanation, choosing not to overtly espouse an philosophical or 
		systemic position or theory, but presents a sense of displace ritual and semantic drift, by employing a 
		repertoire of rehabilitated industrial materials to serve a decidedly humanist, if theatrical spirituality. Kraus' 
		decidedly "hot" theatrical allusions Contrast with the "cool" of reductive vehicles. The result is these primary 
		structures in emotive skins.

		These objects are not so much site-specific as site-accommodating mise-en scene, a mannerist/reductive 
		notion a pseudo-mystical picturesque; the post-modern "ruin".

		PRAGUE
		Pavel Kraus at Manes,
		Galerie Gema and Galerie Gambit

		This recent three-part exhibition was the most ambitious project to date by Pavel Kraus, a Czech-born New 
		York artist who in the past several years has gained attention for his own work as well as for his efforts to 
		bring shows of contemporary Czech art to the U.S. On display in the various Prague venues, all located in 
		the old town center, was a diverse group of Kraus's abstract sculptures and two-dimensional pieces ranging 
		from intimate drawings made with charcoal and wax to archi-tectonic structures of lead and wood, including 
		an environmental piece incorporating music and electronic sounds. Each presentation reflected the artist's 
		ongoing explorations of minimalist forms, earthy materials and colors, and ritual aspects of the creative act.

		The most challenging work on view was "Sex, Death, Offerings," a sprawling, multipart installation with sound 
		that filled the two principal galleries of Manes, a Kunsthalle situated on the banks of the Vltava River. 
		Illuminated by skylights, the focal point of the installation, Lead Monument, is an approximately 10-foot-high, 
		three-sided enclosure made of abutting wooden panels covered in sheets of lead, stretching 52.5 feet on 
		two sides and 26 feet on the third. The rigid impenetrability of the work's unadorned, silvery gray walls was 
		relieved by a single opening, an approximately 4-by-8-inch eye-level shaft extending horizontally several feet 
		into the interior. At the other end of the shaft one could see a slab of pinkish yellow beeswax, whose warm 
		glow sharply contrasted with the structure's forbidding exterior. On the gallery floor and along the base of the 
		Monument were some 100 Offerings, irregularly shaped wax-covered cloth bun-dles, most about 3 feet long 
		and about 1.5 feet in diameter. Like enormous seedpods in deep shades of blue, green, red and ocher, they 
		seemed to be randomly scattered about.   

		Following a walkway made of lead panels, visitors moved from the Monument to the Book of the Keeper, a 
		large volume with lead-and-wax-covered pages, placed atop a wooden podium in the middle of a side 
		gallery. Each day of the show, a gallery attendant turned a page of the book, which cont-ained plans for a 
		new arrangement of the Offerings around the Monument. He or she reconfigured them accord-ingly. Artist 
		and critic Joseph Karoly, writing in the exhibition's catalogue, describes Kraus's art as "Gothic Minimalism," 
		a term that could apply to his theatrical work, whose overall moodiness was enhanced by alternately 
		humming and rumbling electronic sounds emanating from inside the Monument. The amplified tones were 
		part of a music composition written for the installation by Dennis Báthory-K-itsz, a Vermont-based composer 
		who has collaborated with Kraus on previous occasions.

		-At Gema, the artist presented a group of wall and floor pieces made of lead and wax panels that occupy an 
		ambiguous realm belonging to neither painting nor sculpture. The inaugural exhibition at Gambit featured 
		Kraus's Remains of the Future; a 7-by-8-foot wall made with lead-covered bricks.  A gaping hole in the 
		center appears to have been torn open by either an ancient can-nonball or a nuclear blast.

		Review of previous exhibition; David Ebony, Art in America, November 1999
		Pavel Kraus
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Ken Graves & Eva Lipman
High School Football, Huntington, PA - 1998
silver print, edition#:1/5
16.5 x 13.5 inches (41.91 x 34.29 cm)


		Ken Graves and Eva Lipman
		Given the unprecedented changes occurring in the post-Vietnam decades, in particular, the growing 
		presence of women in traditional masculine territory, masculinity has increasingly come under pressure.

		We are interested in examining the effects these changes have produced, by observing behaviors in male 
		dominated sites. As Susan Faludi suggests, these sites "absorb the man with no name, and transform him 
		into his grander second self." The men, "are looking not so much for something to do as for someone to be." 
		These institutions also promise "a salvation from having to achieve alone", initiating them into a world in 
		which their potential and value are recognized by their brethren." As an on-going project we are exploring 
		those sites where males celebrate privilege or replay power and make visible masculinity, as it becomes 
		increasingly unsettled, and as it is performed in numerous poses, rituals and fantasies.

		Ken Graves and Eva Lipman, May 2000

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Warren Owens
Peekaboo - 1989-99
collage, acrylic, paper on cardboard
12 x 9 inches (30.48 x 22.86 cm)


		Warren Owens
		My collages are mostly about balance, turning materials overlooked into coherent pictures that ask for a 
		second or third viewing - up close or far away  to imprint an after-image. The trick is to keep it simple, yet 
		complex enough to excite.

		Good art gives permission to other artists to reach out and expand, to make visual what had been obscure.
		And the reward is stupendous. Poet Seamus Heaney put it best: "The excitement of something coming out 
		right, that is indeed its own reward."

		Warren Owens, May 2000
           

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