Casey Kaplan

Artist News

Haris Epaminonda, VOL. XVII in Art in America

at Casey Kaplan,
121 West 27th Street

Hanging near the entrance of Haris Epaminoda’s elegant solo show “Vol. XVII” is a framed page of text—apparently excised from a catalogue of Korean painting—that could be considered a substitute for the conventional gallery press release. The concise description of a landscape painting by Ra Ong, a sixteenth-century intellectual, praises the “ancient dignity” of the work and concludes simply: “The economy of line is noteworthy.” Epaminoda is likewise adept at building worlds using spare means. The Cypriot-born artist carefully arranges found objects—including plinths, stands, and other display furniture—and artifacts from different cultures and eras. Many of the tableaux Epaminoda creates appear incomplete or fragmentary, inviting viewers to fill in a missing context. A vase is placed on the extreme edge of low riser, which is bounded only at the corner by a low metal fence. A scholar’s rock stands simply on a metal side table. A small sculpture of a fish sits on the ground in front of a tall mirror. A face peaks out from beneath a pile of sand. These objects “oscillate between past and present,” as the artist has said of previous works, generating “multiple plots.” The title of the exhibition suggests a literary dimension to the project. Whatever narratives are present here, they are all rendered “a simple but elaborate manner to produce a satisfactory response in the beholder,” as the show’s introductory statement says about the work of Ra Ong. —William S. Smith