Yi presents a basic unit or form inspired by daily life, urban space, and the natural landscape. The Eq. or Equilibrium Series explores the function of a single defined shape, deployed by the artist in marching arrangements where a grid of like forms is punctuated by contrasting colors. Yi has described this shape as a racetrack, and it appears as a capsule, neither flat nor three-dimensional. The elongated oval creates a sense of speed, suggesting an entity in constant motion, circles straining against their borders to fill all available space on the canvas.
Yi’s vivid palette is alternated with compositions dominated by black pigment, where the black provides an optical metric to understand the balance of color throughout the painting.
Seemingly monochromatic application of paint defies an appearance of flatness, with colors placed adjacent to each other, demonstrating how a color can change the feeling of a space and fully occupy the visual field of the viewer. It is this field that concerns Yi – her purpose is to reflect the viewer’s perspective and perceptions.
Ruri Yi (b. South Korea, 1969) lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. In 2018 Yi founded Mono Practice, a gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. This is the artist’s first exhibition at HEMPHILL.