On View


Split Ends and Drilling Machines

28 Jun - 03 Aug, 2024. Arles

Exhibition details:
Juwon Jeong
Split Ends and Drilling Machines
28.06 – 03.08.2024

Opening Friday June 28th, 2024

19, rue de la Madeleine
13200 Arles

Juwon Jeong
At the Dentist’s, 2024 (detail)
Oil on canvas
166 x 183 cm / 65 3/8 x 72 in

Things collide on the surface of canvases. Current events, personal fears, objects rooted in art history, and form-al jokes are mashed together in manifold marks.

These split ends are smeared, smothered, blotted, scratched out, pushed around and stuck on in different yet repetitive brushstrokes, creating a whole with lines that threaten to wander off at any moment.

But when do clusters of smears, a scratch mark, or a stray blot come together to signify a room, allude to a problem, or become a solid monad (if ever), thereby teetering between the outside and in?

The inside and out exists between layers of paint. At first glance, what you see is the top most exterior, but there is surely an inside beneath. Follow the string, twice around the tree and underneath the bush. Time sways and collects in pockets shaped by congealed brush marks, suddenly to flow and glide on a jutting slab or beam.

Openings and folds open up hindsight, a foreground, a front, and a back. But can these formal dimensions of time and space connect to the external and internal; the personal and public? When does a soliloquy become a dialogue?

Ties are perhaps loose between problems within the frame and the problems outside, and so stories have to be foraged for in these picture puzzles. Dürer’s perspective machine, buttons, machinery, pliers on a dentist’s table and a mountain-scape. It’s a rocket, it’s a nose, it’s a tongue, it’s a desiring contraption. Living in a world where peace, though even that has now revealed itself to have only been a farce, is only upheld by a balance of destructive powers, one imagines forceful shapes that crash against each other. Cracks and vibrating fissures deconstruct recognizable signs, yet these folds are what hold the picture’s balance together.

Smaller frames hold onto individual things: a lemon teeters between freshness and flatness, a spiraling ear trails a rocky mountain, and twine refuses anymore to hold anything together. A sense of an unstable center is the thrust that pushes form to always be ‘form-ing’.

Thus, a simple distinction between abstraction and figuration is not what is of importance here. Rather, it is the act of ‘form-ing’ while tip-toeing between complicity in a world of unstable shapes, easily lured to formal beauty and the seemingly impossible task of depicting a stable object.


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