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Various Small Fires
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Donghoon Rhee at Various Small Fires


At Various Small Fires, Donghoon Rhee infuses the traditional medium of wood carving with a pop culture sensibility, showcasing figurative sculptures inspired by female K-Pop stars. Made primarily with a chainsaw, Rhee’s rough-edged pieces delight in imperfections, with the saw’s lines conveying the movement of his subjects with a Futurist sensibility. 

Dance moves play out across the sculptures via doubled hands and eyes, yet the figures are rendered with minimal movement from the chainsaw’s blade. This looseness to their structure is mirrored in a set of paintings in which faces and limbs cascade across the canvas in Cubist patterns. Together, the exhibition employs traditional techniques and historical references (Willem De Kooning is cited in the press release) while remixing their methods to create cheeky and playful odes to pop culture. 

On view: November 12, 2022 – January 21, 2023

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Photo: Donghoon Rhee, Woman, 2022 (installation view), Various Small Fires, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires Los Angeles / Dallas / Seoul.