Critics’ Picks

GaHee Park, A Spider with Couple, 2021, oil on canvas, 68 x 60".

GaHee Park, A Spider with Couple, 2021, oil on canvas, 68 x 60".


GaHee Park

Perrotin | Paris
76 rue de Turenne
September 3–September 30, 2021

There is a bouquet of flowers in many of the eleven oil paintings in GaHee Park’s first solo show in France. The eleven colored-pencil drawings tantalize with glimpses of an affair, just as lush, between a dark-haired woman and her smooth blond lover.

In material and palette, Park’s rendering of flesh—embodied in amorous nudes, fruits and flowers—is decadent. Her succulent lexicon of grapes, cherries, strawberries, and a peach draws insects into almost every composition. In Drunken Lovers with Ants (all works 2021), a line of tiny carpenters snakes across a white tablecloth, while fireflies light up a room hazy with cigarette smoke in Mystery. A dragonfly perches on a lime in Woman with Dragonfly, while another drifts open-winged across a violet sky in A Spider with Couple. In this large-scale canvas, Park’s lovers embrace, seemingly tangled in tree branches and a Shivalike multiplicity of limbs.

Manicures, filed to points, appear throughout in black, blue, and bloodred. In Park’s drawing Woman with Starfish, one of her subject’s feet is depicted as a hand, tipped in black to match a beached starfish sharp as a ninja star. In the bottom corner, a seagull’s head comically pops into the frame. Mischievous laughter is practically audible as Park cunningly mines staples of genre painting, turning it all on its head. With the cool flatness of Alex Katz and a strong dose of Surrealism, her precise finish is controlled and seductive, summoning a force that is feminine, physical, and nostalgic.