October 4, 2009

Kim Anno: Liquescent

By Zachary Scholz

The works in this tranquil exhibition reward prolonged interaction. Their quiet presence, reminiscent of Morris Louis’ veil paintings, offers viewers a hushed space within which to reflect. Like much of Kim Anno’s previous work, they are painted in oil on sheets of aluminum. The dull glimmer of the metallic surface emerges through thin washes of color, producing a soft opalescence. Anno’s trademark “combing” is restrained and flutters in little eddies rather than the bold sweeps that she has employed in the past. The gestures allude to landscapes but never entirely resolve into recognizable features. There is something eerie about these pieces that unsettles even as it attracts. They are decidedly arctic. The forms echo ice floes and bergs, while the colors evoke turquoise water and permanent twilight. Clouds of fine scratches mar the delicate metallic surfaces and cause the ambient light in the gallery to flicker across them like the dancing aurora borealis. The vacant expanses evoke numbing emptiness but also deflect casual entry. This impenetrability adds to their mystery, but renders the paintings more difficult than they need to be. They are beautiful but remain largely alien, much like the bleak landscape they reference.

rose snow
Rose Snow, 2009; oil on aluminum.