There is the surprise of the initial view – followed by a careful closing in on each piece. Their work is interwoven and sometimes embedded into the physical features of the exhibition space. Each of these artists’ work explores the theme of the exhibition in different ways – through textural changes, by filling space or simply defining it, by playing with shadow and light, or sometimes by challenging you to find it and then engage in the tiny universe it creates by having drawn you into its orbit. Echoing the wry and elegant spatial interventions of Richard Tuttle or Fred Sandback yet invoking a host of personal references, Barely There addresses themes of presence and absence, place and presentation. Each artist has established working methods that resonate strongly with these themes.
The linear abstractions of Jong Oh proposes paradoxes in the viewer’s experience, while Susan Graham’s white-on-white sugar and porcelain sculptures and the dusky transparency of Naoko Ito’s wire piece read like memory shadows. The viewer may well walk past James Sheehan’s work, but once they spy these tiny paintings, under an inch in any dimension, the work asks the viewer to draw near – very near. Jonathan Rider’s work is also miniscule in its individual components, but the accumulation is greater than its parts, inviting the viewer to follow its path. These artists entrance, seduce, and challenge the viewer to consider an aesthetic experience in which the work subtly, but fully alters the environment it inhabits.