Quasi-Pagan Minimal
March 4 – April 16 , 2016
Greene Naftali, New York, USA

Installation view of Quasi-Pagan Minimal, Greene Naftali, New York, USA, 2016
Photo: Martha Fleming-Yves, Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

Installation view of Quasi-Pagan Minimal, Greene Naftali, New York, USA, 2016
Video: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés, Studio Haegue Yang


Press release

Greene Naftali is pleased to present Quasi-Pagan Minimal, the gallery’s second solo exhibition by Berlin- and Seoul-based artist Haegue Yang. Working in two and three dimensions, Yang takes as a conceptual starting point the alienating effects of global industrialization, examining contemporary life as estranged both historically and geographically. For this exhibition, Yang has transformed the gallery into a site of intersection between the modern and the folkloric, unearthing memory and legacy within the spatial and temporal fractures engendered by late capitalism. Utilizing both the gallery and its courtyard, the artist presents sculptures and works on paper that combine industrial fabrication and traditional craft, destabilizing the chronological distinction between the modern and pre-modern.
Installed in the gallery courtyard are Yang’s industrially fabricated series, titled An Opaque Wind – Humbled Gray (2015). Brick constructions, the undulating tiers of which incorporate design traditions from pagodas to arabesque patterning, are topped by bulbous industrial air vents that behave as towers. Consistent in form, but disparate in material, the sculpture comments on globalization as at once teleologically continuous and a sudden historical break.
Yang continues to hold separate eras in tension in the main gallery with her recent series The Intermediates (2015), her Sonic Sculptures, and her modular Sol LeWitt Upside Down (2015). The Intermediates applies weaving to an artificial straw substitute, embedding tradition within the pervasive artifice of modernism. Meanwhile, the bells of the mobile Sonic Sculptures, emitting sound when moved, recall the broad historical occurrence of sonic elements within ancient rituals. Installed nearby, Rooted Stones on Parallel Dimensions (2016) embraces the art of suiseki (the art of stone appreciation) and root carving, a decorative tradition that has fallen out of fashion.
Installed among walls painted an Yves Klein–esque blue, is Sol LeWitt Upside Down. Yang supplements LeWitt’s otherwise vacant cubes with Venetian blinds – a familiar practical element in domestic and public spaces alike, used to shield interior activities from external view. The suggested, ordered space carved into the air by LeWitt’s modular constructions becomes an actual site of enclosure. The constructions now obstruct the view beyond rather than lend it classical order.
Yang also resumes her Trustworthies series, initiated in 2010: precise and kaleidoscopic collages made from the interiors of security envelopes, culled from around the world. Constellations of the meticulously handmade works are installed in variable arrangements that engage with architectural space, activating the compositions with a dynamic sense of movement. Organized chromatically to compose new narratives, the Trustworthies speak to both the contemporary influx of information and the privacy it threatens.


Exhibited works



An Opaque Wind – Humbled Gray #1, 2016

An Opaque Wind – Humbled Gray #2, 2016


Front Gallery

The Intermediate – Asymmetric Quadrupedal Bushy-head, 2016

The Intermediate – Dragon Conglomerate, 2016

The Intermediate – Inceptive Sphere, 2016

Sonic Sphere – Horizontally-striped Brass and Nickel, 2015

Rooted Stones on Parallel Dimensions, 2016


Main Space

Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Cube Structure Based on Five Modules, Expanded 184 Times #73-A, 2016

Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Cube Structure Based on Five Modules, Expanded 184 Times #74-B, 2016

Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Wall Piece No. 4, Expanded 16 Times, 2016

Sol LeWitt Upside Down onto Wall – Maquette for 1 x 2 x 2 Half Off, Expanded 62 Times, 2016

Sol LeWitt Upside Down onto Wall – White Five Part Modular Piece, Scaled Down 28 Times, 2016


Side Room

Masked Eyes – Trustworthy #277, 2016

Questioning Long Nose – Trustworthy #278, 2016

Masked Face – Trustworthy #279, 2016

Fiddlehead Stream – Trustworthy #280, 2016

Little Flow Fringe – Trustworthy #281, 2016

Sonic Figure – Venting Gourd, 2016

The Intermediate – Naturalized Klangkörper, 2016