Matter Painting

Jeonghang and Choonhyang Yun and Thomas Nonn came from countries with earth-shaking turbulence in their twentieth century history.  There is a powerful physicality in their works manifest in different ways.

The Yuns have created in their works a unique alchemy of ancient Asian techniques and modern Western imagery – abstraction.  They use the bark of the Korean Dak Tree which they collect.  The bark is harvested each year and new trees are re-generated.  Then they begin a meticulous and arduous task of cooking the bark to form a pulp. An organic natural process.  Some of the pulp is blended with ground natural pigments of different colors.  They use both pigmented and non-pigmented pulp in their work.  The Yuns utilize their combined creative energy to manipulate the pulp with its fibrous strands and clumps into orchestrated swatches.  The color composition and texture create an amazing experience.

Thomas Nonn’s paintings in this exhibition were made in the 1990’s to about 2015.  Actually its roots go back to postwar European art.  Nonn who was born in Hungary came to New York in 1957 after the suppression of the 1956 revolution in which he participated.  His own work reflects an enthusiastic response to the material expressionism in Western European and American Painting.  His works rely heavily on the physicality of the art object and the surprising variations created by acids.  He makes rust luminous and his compositions grow directly out of the process and therefore the works are called matter paintings.  Part of their appeal lies in the paradox of both timelessness and metamorphosis.

The paintings continue to change after he finishes them, ensuring a kind of after-life.

Anita Shapolsky


August 17, 2016


Past Exhibitions