Suzanne Song: Intervals
Gallery Baton is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Korean-American artist, Suzanne Song.
Song sets aside the notion that space is a singular form and conveys it as an incorporeal and abstract concept. As Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913, Switzerland) stated, the relationship between the signifier and the signified is an arbitrary one. While the spaces she creates are intuitive, they are also spaces that we can perceptually relate to and interact with.
The simple compositions that Song creates in her work remind us of spaces we encounter in our surrounding environment. They reflect the grey floors and white walls ubiquitous to most interior spaces. The lighter upper portion of the canvas and the dark mono-toned area divide the canvas in balanced proportion. As lines vertically traverse across the surface, two-dimensional space unfolds into a multifaceted dimension and reveals complex and dynamic spatial relationships between the spaces. While a shadow defines its plane or dimensionality, the composition of multiple shadows show how different dimensions exist interdependently and in perceptual harmony. The paintings reveal themselves over time and in increments. A line becomes an edge, an edge becomes a plane, a plane becomes a shadow and a shadow becomes a dimension. The shape shifting spaces instigate surface tension throughout.
Song builds up multiple layers of a pumice-acrylic mixture to construct the surfaces in her newest paintings. As Eun Young Choi states in her catalogue essay, “the rough grainy texture adds both an industrial, man-made, architectural element as well as an organic, handmade aspect with fragile edges to the previously crisp, clean, graphic esthetics of Song’s work. The complexity of these paintings do not just lie in the constant state of spatial flux and disrupted visual logic, forever protruding and receding, expanding and contracting, dismantling and rebuilding, dissecting and adjoining. It also lies in the numerous reading of the ubiquitous beige and gray two-toned institutional wall that can also mutate into a gray floor and beige wall. Even the choice of natural colors and materials (pumice: beige and graphite: gray) adds further to the juxtaposed dualities of organic vs. industrial, natural vs. manmade, and so on.”
Unlike the pristine surfaces that concealed much of the process in her early work, the pumice texture offers the viewer a closer glimpse into her painting process. The pumice material not only offers a physical and tangible aspect but also changes the pace at which the paintings are perceived and experienced interval by interval.
Suzanne Song received her MFA from Yale School of Art, Yale University in 2000 and a BFA from Clemson University in 1997. She has had numerous exhibitions throughout the United States including exhibitions at The Drawing Center, Smack Mellon, Michael Steinberg Fine Art and Mixed Greens Gallery in New York. Song’s accolades include the Smack Mellon Studio Fellowship and the George R. Bunker Award at Yale. Suzanne Song is a New York Foundation of Arts Fellow in Painting (2008). Song lives and works in New York City. The exhibition, Intervals, will be on view at Gallery Baton - October 23 through November 24.