by Katherine Gagnon and Jinie Park
Katherine Gagnon works in oil on wood panels and Jinie Park works with acrylic on various fabrics. While the artists have known each other’s work for four years, they recently discovered during a studio visit how their practices correlate through their personal relationship to perceived environment. Conceptually and formally their starting points while painting oppose each other giving their work an inverse relationship. Both calling on memory of environment and felt experience, their practices overlap during the process of making. The artists’ paintings give a physical presence to the psychological residue of everyday life.
Stumbling in and out of visceral landscapes both artists meditate on their perceived surroundings. How do what the artists see and feel outside the studio relate to the images and structures embraced while painting? Gagnon seeks to discover a referent—lines and gestures become forms and tree bodies, where as Park's light conditions, originating from memory of everyday experiences, dissolve into the non-objective during the process of making.
Gagnon fuses her interest in communication and the semiotic potential of paint itself. "Swan Song" measuring five feet by five feet, reveals her desire for life-scale work to create an all-consuming experience for her audience. Forms that teeter on the playful yet ominous emerge to loom over the viewer. Trees and branches like torsos and limbs, reach out to hold the viewer or stand in solace at a distance. Her need to anthropomorphize plant life comes from wanting to merge her relationships with the physical and psychological. Gagnon’s work comes to life when the act of mark making on a surface becomes a “thing” wanting to be named, or as the artist notes, “the moment when verbs become nouns.”
Park’s attention to texture and edge carries her strong ties to color relationships to the forefront of her work. Serene palettes become decisive acts of transference. She acknowledges a link in her work to traditional crafts such as sewing, knitting, quilting and woodwork. Park finds the process of how the individual elements such as threads, fabrics or wooden bars create an entity or structure relevant to how she builds the elements of daily experiences into an abstract idea. Regarding the process of making as one in three parts, she alludes to a “three chamber” structure in her practice identifying experience outside the studio, inside the studio and the art object itself. The correlation between life and making proves these relationships as not linear, but linked through an oscillation of time and place.
Seeking the visceral in the digital world, Inverse Variants conveys a deep-rooted connection to the physical means of painting and works to be experienced in person rather than online only. Gagnon’s scale shifts from painting to painting and Park’s textural richness and attention to edge reveal two emerging painters embracing aesthetics and intentionality to discover their own visual voice.