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3 artists explore new horizons of abstract art

Installation view of
Installation view of "Hangover Boogie" exhibition featuring works by Chris Succo at Leeahn Gallery Daegu / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

By Kwon Mee-yoo

DAEGU ― Leeahn Gallery, operated by collector-turned-gallerist Ahn Hye-ryung, presents three European artists ― Chris Succo, Megan Rooney and Ina Gerken ― who developed their own abstract world at its Daegu branch.

The gallery said the exhibition is held in cooperation with German art historian and curator Gregor Jansen, who serves as the director of the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. Jansen recommended 10 young, aspiring European artists to Leeahn Gallery and Ahn picked three among them.

The title of the exhibit, suggested by Jansen, is derived from the common elements of the three artists ― how they put energy into their works like turbulent music and continuing the tradition of early lyrical abstraction.

While the beginning of modern abstract art is often contributed to Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian of the early 20th century, three female artists ― Georgiana Houghton (1814―84), Hilma af Klint (1862―1944) and Emma Kunz (1892―1963) ― have been rediscovered in recent years for their trailblazing in abstract forms of art based on spiritual and supernatural beliefs.

"The three female artists who blazed trails in abstract art were inspired by supernatural ideas ― spiritualism for Houghton, theosophy for Klint and naturopathy for Kunz. The three artists who are presented at Hangover Boogie join the line of improvisational and impulsive styles of Houghton, Klint and Kunz," Ahn explained.

"Succo, Rooney and Gerken went through the rapid changes amid globalization and the digital revolution. They present new styles of abstract art reflecting cataclysmic social changes."

Chris Succo's 'Untitled' (2020) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Chris Succo's 'Untitled' (2020) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

Succo's free and lively works blur the boundary between representational and abstract and exquisite and crude.

His works develop from minimal to more freestyle as the artist eliminates the use of painting utensils such as a brush or knife. Instead he paints on the canvas using his finger, the most primitive yet intuitive tool.

His latest works are in vibrant colors as he applies colorful watercolors on the canvas and adds oil paint with his fingers. The movements of the artist's fingers are visible on canvas.

He signs his works with spraypaint, showcasing his unrestricted style.

Megan Rooney's 'Dodge Ford Toyota Idaho' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Megan Rooney's 'Dodge Ford Toyota Idaho' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

Rooney, born in Canada and now based in London, presented her works at "Fire on the Mountain" exhibit at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf last year.

Her works, which seem to be on the transition from representational to abstract, are inspired by her memories.

"Viewers might try to find figurative shapes in Rooney's works as they might be reminded of familiar shapes like humans," Ahn said. "Her frequent use of the flamingo pink color is also inspired by memory as it was the color of her childhood home."

Ina Gerken's 'Untitled (We're through)' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Ina Gerken's 'Untitled (We're through)' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

The paintings of Gerken, the youngest among the three, are unique while rebellious.

With powerful strokes in simple compositions, Gerken's works also remind observers of musical elements such as rhythm.

Gerken, who was named one of the most promising artists in Germany last year, also showcases suggestive figurative elements in her abstract paintings, which leads viewers to ponder deeper meanings.

The exhibit runs until Sept. 12.


Installation view of
Installation view of "Hangover Boogie" exhibition featuring works by Chris Succo at Leeahn Gallery Daegu / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

By Kwon Mee-yoo

DAEGU ― Leeahn Gallery, operated by collector-turned-gallerist Ahn Hye-ryung, presents three European artists ― Chris Succo, Megan Rooney and Ina Gerken ― who developed their own abstract world at its Daegu branch.

The gallery said the exhibition is held in cooperation with German art historian and curator Gregor Jansen, who serves as the director of the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. Jansen recommended 10 young, aspiring European artists to Leeahn Gallery and Ahn picked three among them.

The title of the exhibit, suggested by Jansen, is derived from the common elements of the three artists ― how they put energy into their works like turbulent music and continuing the tradition of early lyrical abstraction.

While the beginning of modern abstract art is often contributed to Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian of the early 20th century, three female artists ― Georgiana Houghton (1814―84), Hilma af Klint (1862―1944) and Emma Kunz (1892―1963) ― have been rediscovered in recent years for their trailblazing in abstract forms of art based on spiritual and supernatural beliefs.

"The three female artists who blazed trails in abstract art were inspired by supernatural ideas ― spiritualism for Houghton, theosophy for Klint and naturopathy for Kunz. The three artists who are presented at Hangover Boogie join the line of improvisational and impulsive styles of Houghton, Klint and Kunz," Ahn explained.

"Succo, Rooney and Gerken went through the rapid changes amid globalization and the digital revolution. They present new styles of abstract art reflecting cataclysmic social changes."

Chris Succo's 'Untitled' (2020) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Chris Succo's 'Untitled' (2020) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

Succo's free and lively works blur the boundary between representational and abstract and exquisite and crude.

His works develop from minimal to more freestyle as the artist eliminates the use of painting utensils such as a brush or knife. Instead he paints on the canvas using his finger, the most primitive yet intuitive tool.

His latest works are in vibrant colors as he applies colorful watercolors on the canvas and adds oil paint with his fingers. The movements of the artist's fingers are visible on canvas.

He signs his works with spraypaint, showcasing his unrestricted style.

Megan Rooney's 'Dodge Ford Toyota Idaho' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Megan Rooney's 'Dodge Ford Toyota Idaho' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

Rooney, born in Canada and now based in London, presented her works at "Fire on the Mountain" exhibit at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf last year.

Her works, which seem to be on the transition from representational to abstract, are inspired by her memories.

"Viewers might try to find figurative shapes in Rooney's works as they might be reminded of familiar shapes like humans," Ahn said. "Her frequent use of the flamingo pink color is also inspired by memory as it was the color of her childhood home."

Ina Gerken's 'Untitled (We're through)' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery
Ina Gerken's 'Untitled (We're through)' (2019) / Courtesy of Leeahn Gallery

The paintings of Gerken, the youngest among the three, are unique while rebellious.

With powerful strokes in simple compositions, Gerken's works also remind observers of musical elements such as rhythm.

Gerken, who was named one of the most promising artists in Germany last year, also showcases suggestive figurative elements in her abstract paintings, which leads viewers to ponder deeper meanings.

The exhibit runs until Sept. 12.


Kwon Mee-yoo meeyoo@koreatimes.co.kr

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