Anicka Yi has been thinking about death—about how, when her “biological body ceases to function,” she might be able to continue her practice. But even in her imagined death, she imagines life, speculating on the possibility of contributing without consciousness, letting the parts of the body that continue to evolve after death lead the creative process.
"Anicka Yi’s paintings immediately hit with the uncanny sensation of looking at biological specimens housed within glass slides as viewed under a microscope. That the works are quite large only adds to their topsy-turvy effect. They draw you in to look closely, giving a three-dimensional sense of depth with areas of focus and blur through seemingly transparent passages and layers." — John Vincler
Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Anicka Yi. This presentation marks the artist’s first show with the Gallery in New York and in the city in nearly a decade. Borne from the artist’s early experiments with painting, in which the artist created canvas-like configurations with glycerin soap and various found materials, the works in this exhibition continue upon Yi’s exploration of imagemaking through an implementation of inventive approaches. Depicting both recognizable and abstracted forms, such as painterly brushstrokes and washes of color, to blood cells and fish eggs, scratched and ruptured skin, polyps and crustaceans, and the undulations of a deep ocean floor, these textural and sculptural compositions demonstrate the artist’s imaginative ability to depict forms in space. Working beyond the confines of two dimensions, these works interrogate painting’s mythical associations with individual authorship and the physical body and human agency of the painter.
Begin Where You Are Gladstone Seoul May 31 – July 8, 2022
Reflecting on the past few years, we ask, “What does it mean to reset in times such as these? What of the past are we leaving behind, and what new paths of becoming are opening before us?” While withholding any clear answer, our characteristic biomorphic and “techno-sensual” aesthetics blend aspects of synthetic and industrial life with entropy, sensuality, and abjection, all infused with a bright and playful palette that hints toward the stubborn resilience of life, even amidst global cataclysm.
Featuring more than twenty installations from 2010 until today, the show at Pirelli HangarBicocca, conceived as a sensory and synesthetic experience, questions the boundaries between natural and synthetic, human and non-human, materiality and immateriality.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition, this catalog is the most extended monograph of Anicka Yi studio work to date.
The volume presents critical essays by Giovanni Aloi, art historian specializing in representations of nature, and Rachel C. Lee, professor of English literature and gender studies, along with a conversation between me and Merlin Sheldrake, biologist and writer, and two contributions by the exhibition curators. It includes an original “cosmology” conceived in collaboration with my studio: a glossary of our most significant fictional, scientific, and philosophical references. In-depth photographic documentation of the “Metaspore” show is complimented by a complete exhibition chronology, together with detailed written entries about the works on display at @pirelli_hangarbicocca.
Graphic design: @leftloft.design
Metaspore curators: @fiammetta.griccioli #vicentetodoli
For the 2021 Hyundai Commission, asked herself what a ‘natural history of machines’ could look and feel like. As well as a revealing conversation with the artist about her own thinking, this book features a series of questions posed by her to some of the most ingenious minds now working in the diverse disciplines encompassed in her highly experimental work.
Taking cues from soft robotics and the natural world, conceptual artist Anicka Yi builds lighter-than-air machines that roam and react like autonomous life forms. Her floating "aerobes" inspire us to think about new ways of living with machines -- and to ponder how they could evolve into living creatures. "What if our machines could be more than just our tools, and instead, a new type of companion species?" she asks.