Right from the early days of the Minimalist movement in the 1960s, women continue to shape the genre for the better through their immaculate modes of practice and expression. Be it Judy Chicago, Eva Hesse, or Agnes Martin, women in this art form have consistently made waves challenging gender constructs in what is undoubtedly a male-dominated field. In this edition of the women in art series, The Artling looks at 11 female minimalist artists who are making their mark and pushing the genre forward.
Ina Jang graduated with a BFA in Photography in 2010 and completed her studies in the MPS Fashion Photography Program in 2012 from the School of Visual Arts. Her works have been shown in internationally acclaimed galleries and festivals, including the New York Photo Festival, Daegu Photo Biennale, Paris Photo, Tokyo Photo, Unseen and Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam.
Over the past years, she has been nominated for numerous awards, including The Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward and International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards. She was a Foam Talent and a finalist at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography in 2011. In 2016, Photo District News announced her as one of the PDN 30 Emerging Photographers. Her latest project “Utopia”, was shown last year at Musée des beauxarts Le Locle in Switzerland. Her works have been published in Time Magazine, British Journal of Photography, IMA Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.
Ina currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Pletneva was born in Sochi, Russia on May 26th 1990. From 2007 to 2012 she studied journalism and new media at the Moscow State University. Today she lives and works in New York, exploring digital media in arts. She describes her style as "digital minimalism".
Korean artist Jungsook Ahn graduated from the prestigious Goldsmiths College with an MA in Textiles from the Department of Visual Arts in London. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Korea, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States. Her work can be found in multiple public and institutional collections, including that of The Sovereign Art Foundation in Hong Kong and The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Bank, South Korea.
Ahn believes that “Life itself is a continuation of tensions” and her Tension series of works reflects just that. Tension is for Ahn, a way of reconciling the way that we draw lines in the sand between each other – our tensions – which perhaps explains why looking at her work, we are filled with such a sense of calm and serenity.
Her focus on textiles has deeply influenced her Tension series of works, which she developed in 1998. These monochromatic works are created by stretching textile color carriers over a specially-constructed wooden frame that extends out of the surface plane. Curved convexly or concavely, the colored surfaces present the viewer with multiple perspectives depending on their positional relationship to the work.
In the same way that a singular work can embody so many perspectives, Ahn’s deliberately minimal use of the line represents the idea of the how a simple line can extend into an infinitely endless circle: “If the finite concept of life could be seen from the perspective of infinite time and space, it may be considered all the same.”
Kyong Lee is a Korean abstract artist whose work reconciles physical and emotional realities through a multi-disciplined exploration of color, material, process, and form. She lives and works in Seoul, Korea.
Lee received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hong-ik University in Seoul, Korea, in 1991. She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Fine Arts in Braunschweig, Germany, in 2000. From 2001-2002 she was the Artist in Residence at the internationally well known SSamzie Space Studio Residency Program, Seoul, Korea.
Work by Lee can be found in multiple public and institutional collections, including that of the Seoul Museum of Art, the Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Bank, Seoul, Korea. Her work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Korea and Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Color as Adjective III at Gallery Choi, Seoul.
Louisa Nonis is a visual artist, currently doing her degree in Fine Arts in LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Currently pursuing her interest in Photography as the chosen medium for several of her works, her photographic series centered around the idea of fleeting existence between people and spaces, as well as bringing out visuals that would invoke a sense of contemplation for the audience. Using cropping as one such method, a specific area of the photo would be the final product and she seeks to pursue the images that represent the essence of a person’s unified absence and presence, which interacts with the permanent space.
Nonis also does illustrations both digitally and on paper, being attracted to the idea of developing figures from simple strokes that showcase her eye for detail. In other aspects of her photography, Nonis has the inclination to shoot street photography and architecture, realizing that photography is a constant learning curve that depends on the transforming environment around us.
Suisen Nakatani is a Japan-based calligrapher. The motifs of her artworks are Kokotsu-bun; the ancient Chinese hieroglyphic characters left on bones or tortoise carapaces and Kin-bun; those left on bronze vessels.
Suisen’s fluid forms with Sumi ink express a subtle intelligence and energetic resolve that maintain a correspondence with the art’s ancient practice even as they communicate contemporary energy and vital force. Suisen says she can feel a lot of energy from ancient characters that imply the meaning of life, nature, and people’s feeling in ancient times. Therefore, she is fascinated with ancient characters and practice calligraphy to affirm her life, including both the sadness and happiness of her experience.
She was given several awards both in Japan and abroad. She also held her solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura (Japan), Bangkok (Thailand) and New York (USA).
Colleen Ho’s drawings allude to patterns visible in nature. The imagery oscillates between topographical and biological forms, gestural and structured compositions. They are created by ripping paper with a thumbtack repeatedly, leaving a delicate, tactile relief to the surface. It is intuitive mark-making; both primal and meditative.
From a distance, the work may appear as an ordinary sheet of neutral-toned paper. Upon closer investigation, forms emerge from individual marks; lines and shapes create movement within the frame.
Since the artist does not work from sketches, compositions are guided by an innate sense of order and balance. The repetitive gesture of carving into the surface is tedious, but over time the composition builds and creates a larger gesture that is graceful and seemingly spontaneous.
Colleen Ho is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA from Pratt Institute of Art. She has recently participated in exhibitions at The Edward Hopper House, Nyack, NY; Schema Projects and Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions have been presented at Gallery Kurt in Berlin, Germany and The Front in New Orleans, LA. Other notable exhibitions include Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA; Chongro Gallery, Seoul, Korea; and The Bronx Museum of the Arts where she was a participant in the Artist in the Marketplace Program. Her ripped paper drawings are in private and corporate collections in New York, Los Angeles, and London.
A young and representative Korean artist, Kajin Lee, who majored in Pottery at Seoul National University, reinterprets the traditional "celadon" with a modern take. She puts weight on the expression of the material properties, and as such, the characteristics of these materials are directly reflected in her work. The richness of the celadon is a result of a complicated process of thickening and layering where the artist blends glazes and shapes them into waterdrops. Currently, she has participated in exhibitions at London Collect and <Korea Now> at Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and has been recognized throughout the world.
Sooyeon Hong’s work process can be explained in three stages. First, she builds a background with layers of paints, dispensing with any visible spots or brush strokes. Numbers of layers creates a subtle neutral background color. Afterward, she places abstract forms on her canvas, carefully considering force, balance, and tension between the forms. Lastly, as she guides her flatform volumes and shadows through a slow constructive process that requires putting additional layers on the form, she is able to create an illusionary world in which abstract forms float around in an unknown, imaginary space. Her use of delicate bluish, greenish, and grayish colors gives viewers a sense of ambiguity. These seemingly simplistic pictures contain the ambiguous duality of delicate plastic beauty combined with splendid colors and aesthetics found in some minimalists’ paintings. This indescribable ambiguity is clearly the essence of her work. (Excerpt from “Deviation and explosion in controlled and balance space” by Phil Lee)
Sooyeon Hong was born in Seoul in 1967. She graduated from Hongik University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Master of Fine Arts and then went to obtain her second Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in New York. Since her first solo exhibition in 1992, Hong has had 11 solo exhibitions at Posco Art Museum, Kumho Museum of Art, Gallery IHN, Total Museum of Contemporary Art(The Room), Gallery Plant, Gallery ROYAL and so on, as well as a number of group exhibitions including 'corporeity_Sooyeon Hong & Hunchung Lee'(2013, BK Gallery, Seoul), 'Vessels'(2013, LWL-industriemuseum, Germany), 'Aesthetic Categories' (2013, Wumin Art Center, Cheongju), 'Korean Eye'(2012, Saatchi Gallery, London), 'Sporadic Positioning' (2012, Arario Gallery, Cheonan), 'A pleasure with dear friends!' (2011, Posco Art Museum, Seoul), '21 & Their Times' (2010, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul), 'Wonderful Pictures'(2009, Ilmin Museum, Seoul), 'Korean Modernism' (2005, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul) and 'Sense & Sensibility'(2003, Busan Museum of Art). In addition, she participated in residency programs: the National Art Studio Chang-dong (2002-2003) and Opekta Studio Residency Program (2013, Cologne, Germany).
Her works are owned by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul National University Museum, Kumho Museum of Art, Yonsei University Museum, Consulate General of Korea in Shanghai, the Embassy of Korea in the Netherlands, the Embassy of Korea in India, etc.
Tracie Cheng’s paintings call to mind natural phenomena with a playful and dynamic quality of space and movement. Interested in patterns, forms, and fractals in nature, and how they densely overlap in the world around us, Tracie creates ethereal spaces that refashion our typical perspectives. There is a richness in the fluid layers and interweaving of her lines and paint, all working together to form a textured story—not dissimilar from her own life experience. The first of her Taiwanese family to be born in the United States, Tracie grew up with the complexities of both cultures shaping her paintings in significant ways. In her practice, a style has emerged that channels aspects of Chinese brush painting, abstraction, and architectural renderings. Tracie’s paintings recall beauty and wonder in the everyday, questioning the relationship between the seen and the unseen.
Tracie attended the University of Texas in Austin and graduated with a degree in architecture. After several years of architectural work, her desire to shape environments shifted to the visual arts. In 2016, Tracie began a partnership with Restoration Hardware and was showcased along with other artists at Scope Miami Beach. She has shown her work at galleries in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Shanghai. Tracie has been commissioned to create a series of paintings for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, a collection for MGM Macau, and her paintings are in private collections all over the world, including Switzerland, Dubai, and the U.S.
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