Monday, January 11, 2010


Daniel Kim and Michael Parker: Structure and Space,
David Weinberg Gallery,Chicago
January 8th – February 20th, 2010
jeffery mcnary - NEOTERICART

Poise appears conscientiously injected into the current exhibition at the David Weinberg Gallery. The abstract paintings of Daniel Kim, combined with the photography of Michael Parker make for a very impressive introduction to the new year, stepping from the holiday vestibule into a pantheon of sometimes sharp-edge, yet eloquent art. It’s a fine gathering of work.

“In my work, monochrome paintings deal with very important aspect of painting”, says Kim. “In order for a painting to be successful I believe 3 things have to work together, and that’s color, image and the paint application. If the 3 work, it’s like flicking a switch and activating a painting to make it come alive. I do this to speculate what beauty might look like.” His work is not shy. Early on in the show the viewer catches his erudite use of basic grays, of fundamentals, of shadow and of space.

In speaking to his own work, Parker holds, “Architecture begins on paper. Photography is the method by which it returns”… my official slogan. I honestly believe the relationship between photography and architecture is a unique one. Architecture, being such a detailed medium is best recorded with photography for most purposes. Be it for commercial use, fine art, or historical record, photography is really the only way to put an immense physical structure into your briefcase or on the wall.”

Curator Aaron Ott has consciously ‘zig-zagged’ the works early on in the exhibition. Ott appreciates mixing mediums in joint shows, and in this instance pieces settle, more than dominate in such fashion.

In many of Kim’s paintings the viewer is introduced to cloud shapes, to explosions of chaos and areas of the larger works appearing to be paintings on their own. “Oil paint for me has enough range that I almost feel its part of who I am, and the paint becomes a tool to complete my other half,” he says. “The decision I make with the paint is personal and very much reflects who I am as person.”

Moving deeper into the exhibition, one comes upon large color works of Kim’s. Here the dialogue continues with traces of pastel whispering on the canvases of brilliant color. “Color paintings which are bit more challenging to make is also driven by my speculation of beauty, using the formal elements I know and composing them to become a interesting visual stimulation. In a simple term I try to make interesting paintings, because that is what visual artist do.”

Many of Parker’s works approach the mystical. The stark, geometrical designs freeze in camera. His, ‘Disney Concert Hall, LA, CA’, Pigment print, sweeps and slashes and swoons with the titanium of the structure itself. “When I step back from my work,” he says, “I realize that I am working with three elements that everybody loves…photography, architecture, and travel. The questions of “where? how? and what?” are easily answered… so the work is very user friendly. I purposely shoot with traditional B&W film in order to commit the images to a life of fine art. I considered shooting digital photos in order to maximize the value for various stock photo purposes but abandon the idea in order to preserve the integrity of the black and white.

Both artists share the trials of their work. “I wrestle with my work there are times in my studio where I spend more time starring and thinking about the paintings then executing” says Kim. “I actually enjoy the times when I am wrestling with my work, I feel that’s when I use my brain the most and try to squeeze out all the knowledge I have about painting and apply it on to my paintings.”

Parker adds, “Life is a constant struggle. Photography is no different. There are photos I love and there are photos that sell. Its pretty obvious, when you see the show you’ll see a few images of trees that are stretching the theme of the show, we sell so much of this work for its aesthetic appeal. The only problem I have with these images are that they overlap a bit with other photographer’s work, as an artist I really want to create something new and distinct.” He concludes, “The good news is that my abstract architectural work does well. I really believe that I’m on to something new.”

What now? Parker says, “I’m sticking with the plan. I’ve have standardized sizes, frames standardized sizes, frames, and printing methods, which has helped to make a recognizable a piece in such a crowded genre.” Sharing, “I simply intend to continually travel and expand my archive. I had a wonderful installation in Atlanta composed of fifteen wall size murals, all in black and white. Since I shot everything on medium and large format film the images were very sharp in the grand scale.”

“I use to be very inpatient after graduating from school, thinking I have to show in New York or LA”, says Kim, “but now I realize patience isn’t such a bad thing. All I can do is try to make good art and hope people will notice, so my answer is I am not really sure where my art is headed in the future, but I am very ambitious.” With many of his works, ‘untitled’, the show calls for revisits and imagination to roam and name them.

No comments: