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MaryAnn Puls and Yoonhee Choi
Blackfish Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

MaryAnn Puls and Yoonhee Choi, "PLACEMENT" (detail), 2015, mixed media window installation

Continuing through September 25, 2015

Weight and levity trade verses, as if in a call-and-response duet, in MaryAnn Puls and Yoonhee Choi’s collaborative installation, “PLACEMENT." With a formalist solemnity that belies its origins in give-and-take improvisation, the installation holds forth in Blackfish’s “Fishbowl” space, whose expansive windows open to the gallery-hopping public along NW 9th Ave.

The work is separated into two roughly square planes. In each, Puls has placed richly textural cast-concrete squares and rectangles at irregular intervals along the wall. Choi, using nails, construction staples, and string, has superimposed an open latticework upon this undergirding. The result is an intuitive, organic response to a De Stijl-like rectilinear schema. The delicate contributions of Choi, who teaches architecture at Portland State University, counterweights the brutalist crudity of Puls’ concrete elements, lending the overall piece an architectonic finesse. Although composed mostly of construction materials, “PLACEMENT" feels positively diaphanous. This is Choi and Puls’ first time working together, and it bodes well for future collaborations.

Blackfish Gallery

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