Abstract freedom in Sabine Moritz’s Raging Moon at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
Apr 13, 2022
Sabine Moritz’s solo exhibition, Raging Moon at Gallery Hyundai in Seoul (Mar 11 - Apr 24, 2022) is an inaugural exhibition of the artist not only in Korea but also in Asia. The exhibition as a whole is atmospheric - a kind of mood that crosses between mystery and dreamy nostalgia. The gallery space is filled with mostly abstract paintings in a perfect order and it may feel this way as almost all works are either in pairs or in groups. This is evident from the first set of artworks that can be seen upon entry of the exhibition, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter (all 2021); four paintings that express each season in their own colors and brushstrokes.
The title of the exhibition - Raging Moon - draws attention to the Irish poet Dylan Thomas’ In My Craft or Sullen Art, where he expresses the way he “crafts” and what the creative process means to him; that he only makes poems “only when the moon rages”, which can be interpreted as times when he is deeply connected to the work, therefore feels necessary to be creative. Thomas also wishes that his admires not to be obsessed with his work but it be part of their ordinary life; and it is not his intention to have predetermined meanings in his poems. When projecting Raging Moon on to Thomas’ attitude towards his practice, one begins to wonder if Moritz empathizes with the poet; that for her, art is necessary and the interpretation of the work is done by the audience, not the producer.
Perhaps owed to the way the works are curated in groups in the exhibition, there are many separate dialogues within the exhibition as a whole. Andromeda (2021), and Cassiopeia I and II (both 2021) on the second floor is a good example, where a relatively large space is only occupied by the three paintings. It is hard to escape the narrative of an ancient Greek mythology of Andromeda and Perseus, where shy Andromeda and her very confident and vain mother Cassiopeia feature.
The same floor displays twelve individual oil on etching works of roses in every variation possible; they were all produced between 2020-2021 with the title indicating the dates. The etching of the roses comes across as a base for the same memory shared between the individual paintings, while the oil paint adds multiple stories as colored layers. In similar style to the roses is the three works titled Vernal (all 2021). The two works on the left are completely covered by oil paint but the third on the right exposes the etching on the first layer - as if this one has a different perspective on the same history.
It is also worth noting the difference between the textures of the paintings depending on whether oil is on canvas or on paper. The basement poses a good opportunity to compare the materials directly side by side as the four sets of works face each other in two groups. All painted in 2021, the four Wind (blue, yellow, red, and green) oil paintings on paper are juxtaposed against the four March (I, II, III, and IV) oil paintings on canvas.
There is a sense of freedom in Moritz’s abstract paintings in the exhibition, a kind of freedom that children have when roaming around the garden - they may have purposes for the way they move around with their own unique sensory expressions, but for the onlooker they are motions of random behaviors.
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Sabine Moritz’s solo exhibition Raging Moon at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul will be on until April 24, 2022.
*All artworks by Sabine Moritz and images courtesy of the artist and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul. For more information on each artwork please click on the images.