Coinciding with Hiejin Yoo‘s second solo show that was on view recently at their NYC space, Half Gallery recently introduced an inaugural show of their LA venue with a two people presentation featuring Yoo and Daniel Heidkamp. Complementing both aesthetically and thematically to a certain degree, the presentation feels like an explosion of warm, bright colors and promotion of sorts of a positive outlook on the world around us.
Ever since their popup exhibition with Lucien Smith in Paris during Paris Fashion Week in 2019, gallery director Bill Powers has been interested in opening temporary spaces elsewhere or putting up shows at different locations. With a couple of things coming together, this space in Little Ethiopia felt like the perfect place for the gallery to extend its exciting program and initiate a dialogue with art aficionados on the West Coast. And teaming up two of their artists whose works create an almost seamless narrative, was the perfect choice for their inaugural exhibition the start of that dialogue.
As exceptional colorists, both artists are using bold bright colors to construct their vibrant and appealing visuals. Yoo’s imagery is usually portraying her imminent surrounding with herself being often depicted as a ghostly silhouette drawn with a simple white outline. On other hand, Heidkamp’s imagery depicts significantly wider surroundings, namely rural or urban landscapes or interiors, with his own presence being unintrusive, irrelevant for the image. Yet, both artists are creating somewhat surreal twists to their realities with their distinct visual languages, whether by merely changing the color settings, or going as far as building borderline fantastical compositions. In both cases, they are capable of depicting space, perspectives, light play, and even surfaces through their exceptional choice of hues. Whether it’s Heidkamp’s linear depiction of sunset skies or Yoo’s unlit yet cozy domestic setting, the everyday reality here, there, and everywhere earns a poetic, surprising quality when seen through their eyes and painted with their brushes. —Sasha Bogojev