press release

Torch Gallery is pleased to present “i will have been there when you have already arrived”, a solo exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Carrie Yamaoka.

The exhibition will feature 20 works, all utilizing processes and methods the artist has developed over the past decade. Working with reflective mylar (a durable polyester film) and urethane resin, either mounted to wood panel or cast in flexible forms, Yamaoka is working in a space at the crossroads of painting and sculpture. The wordplay of the title, grammatically questionable, with its garbled use of the future perfect tense, embodies the liminal indeterminacy at play here. In a fresh and playful manner, she tackles questions of mimesis and representation. Capitalizing on an aesthetic of refined and smooth exteriority, the works literally reflect the external world, becoming the mirror of an ever-changing environment. The work of art doesn’t anymore strictly constitute a “window on the world,” as the Albertian trope goes, but rather constitutes a mirror —albeit an inflected one—of the environment in which it is placed. The work and the spectator are engaged in new physical and metaphoric relations through which they become inextricably linked. . Here, the artist has given up a certain degree of authorship, and the viewer is seduced into becoming an active participant in the making of the picture through his/her stance, positioning, and navigation within the site where the work is viewed. This is work contingent on the rigors of perception—simultaneously retinal and conceptual.

On view are several works which incorporate phosphorescent powdered pigments, further extending Yamaoka’s interest in the way light interacts with form and the mutability of the picture/object. Also featured are ten works from the ongoing Aluminum series: process pieces in which the powdered aluminum suspended in the resin finds its own center as it sets up during the cure—becoming a fixed image/moment, and conjuring references to photograms and photography.

In a review of her 2002 solo show at Debs & Co. in New York, Ken Johnson of The New York Times wrote: “In time-honored Modernist style (think Robert Ryman), Ms. Yamaoka also toys with the physical support, calling attention to the painting as a hand-made object. Freed of stretchers or underlying panels in most cases, the paintings have undulating surfaces on which you find yourself reflected…. It all adds up to a seductive marriage of voluptuous materialism and rigorous formalism.” More recently, Roberta Smith of The New York Times has branded her work “a rejuvenation of Minimalism, spurred by new materials, more refined techniques and fresh ideas”.

Yamaoka was featured in Surfaces Paradise at the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem in 2005. She has exhibited in numerous venues in the U.S., including the Albright-Knox, Mass MOCA and the Wexner Center. In Europe her work has also been shown at Aeroplastics Contemporary in Brussels, Galerie Une in Switzerland and Studio 1.1 in London. This will be her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

A catalogue, published on the occasion of this exhibition, with an essay by Art in America senior editor Faye Hirsch, will be available.

Carrie Yamaoka
i will have been there when you have already arrived