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Janny Baek: The Pleasure of Growth

March 22 - May 20, 2023

Once upon a time, after years of planning and effort, a narrative began to unravel as seeds germinated to form. In Janny Baek’s first solo exhibition, ideas burst forth like a vigorous rush of spring growth. This exhibition is a creation story, and the ceramic objects are its characters. The show is alive with energy and movement, crackling with discovery and change.

The family of organisms Janny has created share a technical language across a range of several categories of forms, including clouds, waves, and flows. An air of mystery emanates from their strange but familiar appearance. Their misty ombres and gradients seem to come from within, built as they are of pigmented clay. As functional vessels, they feel less like containers and more like expellers of gasses and energies. It is impossible to look at them without imagining that, if you withdrew your attention, they might evaporate or scurry off, returning to the vast cloud of possible forms from which Janny manifested them.

Who are these happy golems that the artist has created? They are spirits of creativity, each one with distinct character and demeanor, expressed through form, color and pattern. Within a limited physical framework (colored clay, hand built Nerikomi/Neriage), Janny has brought to life to an ecosystem of creatures as her chosen representatives of infinite possible forms. They are somewhat more permanent embodiments of an ephemeral momentary possibility, grabbed from the ether by the artist. This first family of figures represent an introduction to Janny’s narrative and its characters who set the stage for a story of growth and transformation. In this first act, genesis, the curtain has raised.

- Damon Crain