Critics’ Picks

Minjung Kim, You and Me, 2013, mixed media on mulberry paper, 7 x 6".


Minjung Kim

Luxembourg & Dayan | London
2 Savile Row
November 6–September 27

The title of Minjung Kim’s solo exhibition, “The Light, the Shade, the Depth,” is indicative of the simple yet potent evocations that her ink-wash paintings on paper conjure. The clear highlights among those here are her renderings of mountains. Kim captures the essence of stillness in Mountain, 2012, one of the more masterful works, in which craggy formations emerge in the top half of the painting as smoky, ghostlike emanations that seem to blend into one another before becoming gradually denser as they move down the plane, eventually culminating in blackness. In a smaller painting from 2008, also titled Mountain, the smoke seems to hover over the mountains, whose forms are more rigidly announced through a spidery outline.

In her more abstract works, Kim shifts away from the light, the shade, and the depth to attain a different result. The tiny drawing You and Me, 2013, executed on thin mulberry hanji paper and measuring just under seven inches on its longest side, is the one that won me over. The center is a swirly mess of thread-thin black lines punctuated by miniscule cigarette burns, while the top right contains a dark-gray smudge, a sort of moon-bird belching into the twilight ether.