Exhibition - TRACES: 28 Days in Elizabeth Murray’s Studio: Kyoung eun Kang

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:00pm

A.I.R. Gallery
155 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce TRACES: 28 Days in Elizabeth Murray’s Studio, an exhibition by 2020-2021 A.I.R. Fellow Kyoung eun Kang

This exhibition presents Kang’s latest work, a durational video performance made in the former studio of the late American painter Elizabeth Murray. Inspired by the acclaimed artist’s workspace in Washington County, New York, Kang’s improvisational and playful performance explores studio practice as a daily ritual. Kang’s work reactivates and reinterprets Murray’s studio through the lens of an artist of a new generation, drawing out ideas of absence and presence, distance and intimacy, materiality and spirituality.

Two years ago, during my time in the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency program, I had the unique opportunity to use Murray’s dairy barn-turned-studio located on the upstate farm where she split her time for over two decades of her life. As I touched the objects that were once held by Murray, brushing my hand gently over the walls and walking barefoot across the wooden floor, I was deeply moved and inspired by the space. The history of the accumulated paint strokes on the walls and the palpable sense of Murray’s creative energy in the air compelled me to build an intimate relationship with the studio, hoping that in doing so I might forge a spiritual connection with the artist herself.

I developed my own studio practice within the context of her studio. I set up my camera in a fixed position in the middle of the space and recorded my daily practice for 28 days. Using my body as a medium through which to channel and revive Murray’s studio, I gradually developed a choreography of intuitive actions and movements repeated over the course of each day. I observed and examined the space, animated Murray’s studio objects through interaction, and created a series of gestures and watercolor drawings that mirror the smudges and traces left on her studio walls.

Upon entering Kang’s exhibition, viewers are immediately immersed within the soundtrack of Murray’s studio: a chorus of chirping birds, her paint-speckled ladder rolling across the barn floor, the pitter-patter of rain. During her filmed performance, projected within the gallery space, Kang recites fragments of underlined text from Murray’s personal art book collection coupled with an intimate, anonymous handwritten poem Kang found in Murray’s home library.

The studio acts as the nexus between Murray and Kang—two artists from different times, cultures, and artistic backgrounds, who nonetheless both found profound inspiration in the same space. Murray left traces of herself in her studio, and Kang, in turn, takes them for a score, embodying these remnants of Murray’s creative activity in order to give them new life.

This project was made possible by the 2019 Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency program by Collar Works.

Kyoung eun Kang is a New York-based artist born in South Korea. She received a BFA and MFA in painting from Hong-ik University in Seoul, South Korea, and an MFA from Parsons, The New School for Design, New York, NY. Kang works in a wide range of media, including live performance, video, painting, photography, installation, text, and sound pieces. Her work explores geographical and cultural identity and universal human themes such as affection and attachment. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including NURTUREart, Brooklyn, NY; BRIC Project Room, Brooklyn, NY; Soho 20 Project Room, Brooklyn, NY; Here Arts Center, New York, NY; A.I.R Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The Korean Cultural Center, Washington, D.C; Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Perth; Museum of Imperial City, China, and the National Museum of Modern Art, South Korea. Kang has participated in multiple residencies, including at Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, Washington County, NY (2019); I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, CT (2019); ChaNorth, Pine Plains, NY (2018): NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY (2017, 2013); Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2012); Lower East Side Rotating Studio Program, New York, NY (2011); and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, ME (2009). She is a recipient of fellowships at New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY (2010); BRIC Media Arts, Brooklyn, NY (2015); and A.I.R Gallery Fellowship Program, Brooklyn, NY (2020-21).

Exhibition Date:  March 19, 2021 - April 18, 2021 

Location: Location: A.I.R. Gallery II

The gallery is open by appointment only. To make an appointment, click here 

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