Installation view: GJ Kimsunken, Figuration 21. 15, 2021, Oil on canvas; Debra Ramsay, Twilight & Dawn_ 2_3, Twilight & Dawn 9 3:1, Twilight and Dawn 4_9 3_1, 2021, Acrylic on cast acrylic
The two-person show Where We Meet Ourselves at Yi Gallery’s new space in Brooklyn’s Industry City, features abstract paintings and works on paper by Debra Ramsay and GJ Kimsunken. Both artists share a minimalist sensibility to painting and each of them explores in their own way notions of transcendent spaces through form and color. Although they both use reduced color palettes to create elegant and restrained abstractions which are subtle and luminous, their work is grounded in different traditions.
In her new body of work, Where I Find Myself, Ramsay continues to focus on the beauty and enigma of light, color, and time. Her paintings use an unusual palette of sky colors from dawn and twilight, identified with color mixing software that generates a paint formula from color pixels in a photo. She says the paintings refer to the phenomenal experience of time passing at those distinctive periods—the fugitive moments at the earliest beginning or end of the day—functioning as models of impermanence.
Made while observing the sky from her studio window during quarantine, Ramsay was acutely aware of changes occurring in her life and on a global scale. She says that as homage to impermanence, she makes work that shifts in appearance due to changes in light and to the viewer’s location relative to the artwork. She finds affinity with CA Light and Space artists, like Mary Corse, James Turrell, and Robert Irwin.
GJ Kimsunken’s paintings contain a simplified human figure, achieved by scraping away paint on the canvas. For him, it is the most direct way of mark-making, and it is evident particularly in his crayon on paper work, Untitled (2021), where a single stroke evokes the elegance of the Asian traditional calligraphy. This method relates to the core theme of GJ Kimsunken’s work—the human condition, leading to the question of salvation. Inspired by the beauty and imperfection of the Korean Moon Jar, Kimsunken’s simple gestures result in compositions that are lean and austere, yet immersive and generous.
Debra Ramsay is an abstract artist working in the disciplines of painting, drawing, and installation. She maintains a full-time studio practice in New York City. Ramsay has exhibited her work internationally for the past three decades. Solo exhibitions in the US include the Brattleboro Museum in Brattleboro, VT, 2017, Odetta Gallery, Brooklyn, and 57 W 57th Arts, NY, 2016. The Hofstra University Museum of Art acquired her work in 2021. She was awarded residencies at the Golden Foundation, the Albers Foundation, and BAU Institute in Otranto, Italy. She will attend the Pouch Cove Foundation residency in Newfoundland in 2022.
GJ Kimsunken (b. 1985, Seoul, South Korea) received his MFA from the New York Studio School, and his BFA from National Art School in Sydney, Australia. His work was featured in gallery and institutional exhibitions around the world.
All photo courtesy of Yi Gallery
Debra Ramsay + GJ Kimsunken
Where We Meet Ourselves at Yi Gallery October 15 – November 21, 2021
254 36th Street, Suite B634, Brooklyn, NY 11232