January 15 – April 11 1993
“Skin Deep” was a group exhibition with Peter Hopkins, Byron Kim, Lauren Szold, and Jack Whitten, whose works reinterpret the forms and issues of abstraction through reference to skin. The works in this exhibition recalled the dynamic and process-oriented character of traditional abstract painting, while simultaneously exploring conceptual elements of contemporary abstraction. Although the works were nonfigurative in a strict sense, they shared an allusion – metaphorically, structurally, and politically – to the body and its skin.
Peter Hopkins’s luminous, abstract paintings were created by pouring various fluids such as industrial dyes, Cherry Coke, and Pepto Bismol on bed sheets. In Hopkins’s work, painting becomes a kind of social body layered with cultural waste. Byron Kim produced pristine monochromes in the tradition of minimalist, abstract painting. He based his palette, however, not on pure colors but on the flesh tones of individuals raising questions of cultural and racial identity. Taking mixtures of flour, eggs, and other organic substances, Lauren Szold worked directly on the floor. Her “spills,” a combination of painting, drawing, and floor sculpture, suggested, in their rosy tints and sense of fluidity, the material processes of the body. Jack Whitten’s paintings consisted of small building blocks of paint, which are made by pouring paint on plastic, cutting it into squares, and attaching the squares to canvas in a grid-like structure. His paintings bridge the forms of drip and grid paintings, and refocus the viewer’s attention on the skin of paint that is the fundamental basis of all painting.
Both Byron Kim and Lauren Szold created site-specific projects for “Skin Deep,” while Peter Hopkins and Jack Whitten contributed paintings produced in recent months.