Kim Uchiyama, Excavation, 2010, 20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas
In her exhibition of new paintings at Lohin Geduld (through October 9), Kim Uchiyama has expanded her approach to material and process, opening up her surfaces to reveal some of the history embedded in the accumulated layers. These new openings not only allow a richer and more complex play of color, they also shift some of the emphasis of the paintings toward allusions to time and objecthood. There is now a visible element of contingency built into her process that allows the paintings to breathe more deeply, heightening the surface tensions of the color interactions. Uchiyama has arrived at a distinctly Cagean compositional system in which the small vertical canvas, divided into horizontal bands of varying heights, forms a simple iconic configuration -- an inclusive vehicle that allows infinite iterations and ultimate intuitive freedom. It is a system that encourages the color to do its thing to the hilt, and within which all sorts of luscious surprises occur. No apparent color code is at work here -- what we see is the result of pure sensibility constructing rhythmic waves of sensation. There are lots of paintings in this show -- all very small, most the same (20x16") dimensions. This regularity along with the sheer intensity of color makes it easy to scan the room and never really focus on any one piece for too long. But each of these little jewels deserves and rewards extended viewing, allowing the nuances and resonances to emerge, the planes to shift as your focus changes, the color and surface to evoke ancient origins.