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Painting on Painting

‘김현정 회화’에 대하여

모더니즘 회화는 대상의 재현을 넘어 추상적 형식으로 전개되어 왔다. 1980년대 이후에는 다양한 오브제와의 결합 혹은 해체적 방식을 통하여 포스트 미디엄으로 확산되었으며, 21세기 회화는 지난 100여년 동안 진행되어 온 그것의 미학적 미술사적 가치에 대한 메타적 시각을 통해 동시대성(Contemporaneity)을 획득해가고 있음을 볼 수 있다.

동시대 회화는 외형적으로 유사한 형식을 갖추었다 해도 작가의 의도에 따라 그 개념과 의미가 완전히 달라진다. 김현정 회화는 직접 촬영한 사진이나 실제로 본 풍경 등을 바탕으로 그리기 때문에 그대로의 대상을 재현하는 것처럼 보이지만, 실제 장면과는 전혀 다른 색채와 붓질 그리고 다양한 회화적 기법을 통해 새롭게 표현함으로써 동시대 회화의 미디엄의 개념이 무엇인지 잘 보여주고 있다.

작가는 “나는 어떤 장면을 그리기 전에, 그 대상을 바라보는 나의 감각들을 섬세하게 끄집어낸다. 이후 그것들을 회화적 질감으로 사상(事象)하여 색의 투명도, 물감의 농도, 붓의 재질, 붓질의 속도, 제스처, 레이어 등을 결정한다.”고 말하고 있다.

<A Form of Light, 2019>은 도로를 지나면서 촬영한 나무와 숲의 한 장면을 그린 것이다. 이 작품은 빛을 받아 드러나는 색 자체와 그로 인해 드러나는 전경을 ‘빛의 형태’라는 관점으로 표현했는데, 색의 본질이 빛의 파장임을 보여주고자 했던 인상주와는 달리 빛에 의해 나타난 대상을 형태와 색채의 관점으로 전화시킴으로써 동시대 회화에서의 전용(appropriation)의 의미가 무엇인가 잘 보여주고 있다.

특히 이번 전시에 선보인 <Varigated Spot>시리즈는 2016년에 진행한 2인전 <Pieces of Pieces of Pieces>에서부터 시작되었는데, 지금까지 진행되어 왔던 재현적 성격을 넘어 로운 지평에서 펼쳐지기 시작한 김현정 회화의 첫 작품이라는데 중요한 의의가 있다.

이 작품들은 풍경의 일부를 분할하거나 혹은 한 부분을 집중적으로 그린 소품 작업들로, 각 작품마다 모두 다른 색채와 조형요소와 붓질과 표현기법 등을 적용시킴으로써 작품의 내용과 형식이 어떻게 달라지는지 보여주고 있다.

Modernist painting has developed by going beyond descriptive reproduction of the material world. The 1980s were marked by the spread of what is deemed as the post medium era, with the construction or deconstruction of objects. And the past 100 years of the 21th century can be seen as a time of art’s own metaphysical consideration regarding aesthetics and art history, through which art has reached contemporaneity.

In contemporary painting, even in case of similar physical form, depending on the artist;’s intent, the concept and meaning can be completely different.

Hyun Jung Kim paints from phots she has taken or landscapes she has seen so while the works may seem like a literal depiction, by changing the color palette, dynamic brushwork, and employing a variety of methodologies, the scene is expressed in a new way. This is characteristic of contemporary painting, what it can do and how it fuctions.

Kim states, “Before painting, I painstakingly scrutinize and bring forth the sensations I have as I am looking at the subject matter. Afterwards, I transfer these sensations into painterly textures – making choices regarding color’s transparency, the paint’s concentration, the quality of the brush, the speed of the brushstrokes, gestures, layers, etc.”

A Form of Light (2019) is a portrayal of a photograph Kim took as she was passing a tree and a forest on the road. Through this work highlights the colors as it is shown through light as well as the form of light itself, it is still different from impressionism, which aimed to feature the quality of light and its wavelength. Rather, this work is a good example of appropriation in contemporary painting as it shows objects’ form and color altered by light.

The significance of the series Varigated Spot that Kim displayed in this exhibition, which began through the 2016 two person show “Pieces of Pieces of Pieces,” comes from the fact that she has gone beyond her former wrok’s reproductive qualities and is the first work in this new horizon.

In these series, Kim either segments a landscape or focuses only on one portion in a detailed manner. Applying a different palette, adding sculptural elements, brushwork, she changes the work’s content and form.

Kim has constructed the frames of each of the works with different types of wood. As she uses everyday materials to create special works of art, with that same attitude, she treats the wood in a careful manner.

The title of this exhibition is “Painting on Painting.” In calling it this, it is not to consider the meaning of painting itself, but rather, how does Kim look at her own work within the context of contemporary art of the 21th century, and through what strategies and methods does one construct one’s own image making? The motive is to look at and think about this carefully.

Therefore, the painting of Hyun Jung Kim is not an aesthetic pursuit towards a particular form or perfecting one;s own vision but rather, on living as a contemporary observing and contemplating the constant change in this world, and creating each work based on its won principles using a variety of formats, methods, and strategies. It is this aspect of Kim’s work that will give it legitamcy and value in contemporary art.

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