On Tilt, review by Katy Diamond Hamer
Anna Park sees narrative, figurative situations as if they’d been put in a blender. The bodies she draws in charcoal extend from edge to edge on a paper surface, twisting, bending, overlapping, the background becomes one with the foreground —hands, mouths, legs, hair. The way she uses the medium, soft and hard edges come together merging histories and traditions. Gestures utilized by the Mannerists and evident in the distorted, abstracted figures in paintings by Francis Bacon, communicate to an audience today years after the language was invented and continues to evolve. The content of her drawings, such as “This is America” (2020), could be undefined shapes strewn into a pile, a mosh pit seen from above, or a woman (many?) hands stretched, felt, grabbed, pulled or just hanging out with friends. Park’s exhibition at T293, “On Tilt” could be described as a series of universes that are connected to time or particular moments, the absence of others, and a global quarantine. Her world, our world, is on tilt. Our experiences are in a blender, decomposed and reassembled in unfamiliar forms.
Park’s work is a portrait of a strange time, masked, but also chaotically beautiful. The surface level environments resemble an abyss, but could also be the most delightful place we’ve ever been. Look at every tone, every shade of black and grey, every space defined by light— grisaille— and be open to read in between the lines. Whether subjectively portraying grief, chance, such as in “Coin Flip” (2020) or celebration, Park’s drawings are a secure if warped mirror, reflecting the universal anxiety of the unknown.