Namwon Chois Roadtrip is a meditation on time, painting and perspective

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Namwon Chois “Sequences 3” Photo credit: David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

“Dot Dot Dot” focuses on a series of long panorama pictures in gouache and acrylic on wood. On one section of each panel, Choi paints beautiful photo-realistic landscapes in the atmospheric blue of dusk. Your perspective is the road behind the driver’s wheel. The windshield becomes a substitute for the edges of a screen, the road retreats into the distance. These frieze-like rectangular pieces are balanced out by round works like “Shape of Distance (Green Striped Circle),” a painting surrounded by neon-colored satellites that buzz around the work like mosquitos. “Blue Sphere” is located on the gallery floor nearby, surrounded by a melon penumbra in one of the artist’s abstract interpretations of time, space and travel.

"Blue ball" in gouache and acrylic on Hydrocal by Namwon Choi can be seen in a solo exhibition at The End Project Space on the south side of Atlanta.  Courtesy David Naugle
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“Blue Sphere” in gouache and acrylic on Hydrocal by Namwon Choi can be seen in a solo exhibition at The End Project Space on the south side of Atlanta. Courtesy David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

Choi’s lyrical blue views of the unfolding highway are framed by bold colors that are reminiscent of a harsh abstraction. Choi plays with frames throughout her work, drawing Victorian cameo-like circles around her dashboard view, or cobalt blue and neon yellow rectangles to guide you into the work. Her color palette is a rainbow of blue and green navigational highway signs, traffic cone oranges, and the aggressive yellow and red stripes on HERO trucks: the semiotics of the road.

There is a back and forth between seduction and vigilance; the drowsy, hypnotic monotony of driving, outweighed by the touch of hyper-vigilance the roadway demands, where blue warning lights and buzzing construction sites tear you out of your mental fog.

Choi then accentuates several of her paintings with blue balls the size of table tennis balls. She arranges her point, point, point in rows of three: an ellipse that shows the passage of time. “Dot Dot Dot” is about the strange ellipse, how time can feel on the street – a kind of daydream fugue of repetitive passing signs and endless tree corridors.

At its core, Choi’s work is a wonderful amalgamation of intoxicating conceptual art and a modern interpretation of the landscape. The perspective we take is that of the driver, but also that of an artist who breaks reality down into a view that is shaped by a series of art movements and histories. And here, instead of the majestic, light-filled vistas captured by Ansel Adams or the Hudson River School, Choi’s landscape is an entirely American of the 21st. It’s also a landscape framed in the romantic terms of traditional painting and the desire of one contemporary artist counteracts to thematize perspective, representation and form.

Exhibition by the artist Namwon Choi "dot dot dot" at The End Project Space examines ideas of order and longing, distance and distraction and uses the motorway as an emotional channel.  Courtesy David Naugle
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The exhibition “Dot Dot Dot” by the artist Namwon Choi in The End Project Space examines ideas of order and longing, distance and distraction and uses the motorway as an emotional channel. Courtesy David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

Photo credit: David Naugle

The work is transporting and virtuoso both for the artist’s abilities and for her delicious alternation between emotion and reason.


ART REVIEW

“Dot dot dot”

Until December 30th. Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. For free. The End Project Room, 1870 Murphy Ave. SW, Atlanta. instagram.com/the_end_project_space, [email protected]

Conclusion: A first-class show that manages to balance a high level of conceptual formalism and a strong reflection on longing and landscape.



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