Critics’ Picks

View of “Alice Attie, Karin Sander, and Jongsuk Yoon,” 2018.


Alice Attie, Karin Sander, and Jongsuk Yoon

Galerie Nächst St. Stephan
Grünangergasse 1/2
January 12–March 3

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Grünangergasse 1
January 12–March 3

The pleasure of a group show lies in the possibility of seeing hitherto unacknowledged or overlooked qualities of the artists’ work revealed through their juxtaposition. This exhibition—focusing on Alice Attie, Karin Sander, and Jongsuk Yoon—achieves this cross-fertilization with ease and quiet elegance.

The contrast is particularly stark between Attie’s exquisite, meticulous drawings and Yoon’s large, brash Abstract Expressionism–influenced canvases. However, when the works are compared, the intensity and tacit wildness of Attie’s Black Planet, 2017, and Landscape, 2016, and the restrained color of Yoon’s paintings become more apparent, as though the individual strengths of the artists’ respective practices seen together allowed the less assertive elements of each to come to the fore. This dynamic is further enriched by Sander’s blobby glass sculptures from the ongoing series “Glass Piece,” 2015–. These small works, appearing as if they were melting and perched as though they were about to fall off their support, introduce a lightness and a sense of humor to the installation.

What these three bodies of work share is their interest in productively utilizing artistic conventions. Yoon reinterprets a language of canonical painting, and Sander subverts the traditional aims of the process of glassmaking, while Attie questions the distinctions between visual and written phrasing, or aesthetics and theory. This is most visible in her series “Class Notes,” 2012–, where she transforms notes she took while attending philosophy lectures into geometric drawings. The artist’s fine, delicate lines writhe upon closer inspection. They are at once tactile and cerebral, and it is pure joy to look at them.