Jean Shin
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Surface Tension, 2016

Paint on wood
Surface Tension 1: 96 in h x 36 in w
Surface Tension 2A, 2B, and 2C:
91.75 in h x 143.875 in w
Surface Tension 3A and 3B:
85.5 in h x 96 in w
Surface Tension 4: 84.5 in h x 48 in w
Surface Tension 5: 96 in h x 47 in w
Surface Tension 6: 86 in h x 42.5 in w
Surface Tension 7: 95 in h x 48 in w
Surface Tension 8: 94 in h x 48 in w
Surface Tension 9: 94 in h x 48 in w
Installation at Cristin Tierney Gallery, NY,
Jean Shin: Surface Tension, 2016
Installation at Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie, 2017


Surface Tension investigates the divide between public and private in urban spaces by using a material very familiar to New York City residents: the plywood walls surrounding construction sites. At first glance, the exhibition seems comprised of a series of monolithic paintings on panel, each featuring an abstract composition modeled in subtly varied tones of blue. The panels’ beauty, however, belies their distinctive origins: they previously served as construction fencing, and their compositions are products of chance that document a dialogue between two opposing forces at work. With surfaces that have been continually painted over after every new appearance of graffiti, paper posts, and other marks, the “paintings” in Surface Tension are, in fact, found objects chronicling past erasures. The results of this contested partnership between public expressions like graffiti and their subsequent redaction allude to the deep history of negotiating urban space. Displaying these “collective paintings” in the gallery, the artist calls attention to what is often overlooked, revealing in the painted gestures the unintended byproducts of urban transformation with all of its inherent engagement and struggle.

 

Jean Shin: Surface Tension

Jean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface TensionJean Shin: Surface Tension