Form and Colour - new paintings by Jee Young Kim
by Warwick Brown
It is always exciting to follow the development of an artist from talented graduate
student to a mature, confident
practitioner. I well remember Richard Lewer's graduate show, years ago, positively erupting with original
He has, of course, gone from strength to strength. I hope to see the same sort of progress in the career
Young Kim. Her Elam graduate show in 2002 was one of the best of her year. She exhibited only three
abstract-expressionist paintings, but they were standout successes - adventurous, confident and very
without being garish.
The artist has just returned from two
years at the New York Studio School and is exhibiting the fruits of her
labours at the Bath Street Gallery. Far from being awed into creative immobility by exposure to the
genre in the
home of abstract expressionism, Kim's work seems to have bounced off it to new heights.
It is at least three decades since the pundits proclaimed that painting, particularly
abstract painting, was dead.
Every conceivable permutation of form, colour, application, scale, etc, etc had been done. Kim, happily,
such discouraging cant. Her new work is totally engaging and a delight to behold. Why? It's hard to
precisely. It's to do with balance, both of colours and forms, and a quite recognisable but undefinable
painting is fully resolved and strongly composed, but also seems to have just happened on the canvas.
show statement the artist says "I am working with the moment, working to see what happens as I
move my brush.
The idea of spontaneously taking a brush and applying colour, dealing with the vast possibilities of
of different weights, tones and values with different-sized brushes - all that is overwhelming, more
than I can
take". Perhaps she should have said "more than some artists can take". Kim can control
the whole process. There
is a definite structure imposed by fat sweeps of colour, but this is deconstructed by all manner of
seemingly random, brush marks. It all just works.
This sort of painting is not easy to do,
and never was easy, even for old masters like Kline or De Kooning. I think
Kim has "got something". I just hope that, somehow, she can hang on to it in the years to
Over the Rainbow, paintings by Jee Young Kim at Bath St Gallery, 43 Bath St Parnell until 27 May