Room to Move

Yunhee Min at James Harris Gallery.

Best known for her architectural interventions—such as the large-scale, color-banded paintings seen at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center—California-based artist Yunhee Min explores her intense color palette on a more intimate scale in new work at James Harris Gallery. With square-edged geometric forms that read like silhouettes of floor plans, Min's 24-inch-square paintings are clearly informed by architecture. In one piece, rendered in acrylic on canvas, a salmon-pink form overlays a hot-pink background, with slivers of royal blue and primary yellow touched to the edges of the central shape. It's almost as if the painting shimmies a bit—or your eye does—exposing a hidden layer underneath. The movement evoked by thin markings of color causes a sort of visual tilt, making the piece more live. The name of the work—FP(---)b—is nearly as abstract as the piece itself. When I ask what FP stands for, Jim Harris tells me "It's either free plan or floor plan." The intersection of these two possible translations might be the best descriptor. "Layering color and geometric forms to talk about the purity of those two elements," as Harris explains, these new paintings are really old-school abstractions. Gorgeous, simple, and in need of no name. 

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