Libby Leshgold Gallery


A night swimmer is painted in a sea of ultramarine blues, teals, and magentas. She articulates her limbs in sixteen positions in a painting divided into sixteen frames—her body afloat on/in, on/in, on/in the sea. I think about a figure/ground dichotomy, the swimmer awash in the ground.


Ants, starlings, a swimmer. Yeonoo Park makes paintings that come from observations of bodies in motion. How does a painting capture movement, and with movement, inevitably, time?


The repetition of a body across a single painting symbolically alludes to motion. It is present as an optical sensation, too, predicated on a viewer’s experience of receding and emerging fields and forms. Each of Park’s painted gestures and layers index her somatic motion at a specific point in time. But it is an ossified motion, a past tense, encapsulated in a painted image that is all-at-once present and does not itself move.


In an animation produced and displayed alongside her paintings, Park turns this all-at-once presence into a linear progression. Using photography, her finished paintings are broken down into a series of frames which are then sequenced together so that a murmuration of starlings scintillates and a body of water ripples. Painted pictures become motion picture.


For Park, painting and animation are mutually reciprocal forms. They function as a looping continuum wherein the paintings become animations, but Park’s first painterly decisions—what shape the support will take, how the image will be mapped onto this support—are predicated on how they will be animated. The paintings and the animations precipitate and choreograph each other.


An adage: a painting is a window. A framed, pictorial vista into a world apart.


With a series of cut-out paintings, Park has framed the top of the windows that enclose the exhibition space. Here, another kind of motion and temporality, that of the time of day. Compositions made of washy paint and holes cut into manila paper substrate revel in sunlight and cast slowly moving shadows across the walls. Instead of emphasizing an interior/exterior divide this porous frame opens up to the conditions of the world outside.


In Park’s praxis it becomes increasingly hard to delimit painting as discrete and autonomous this that is not that. Painting/animation. Painted world/outside world. The diametric slash falters as her paintings unfold, move, sparkle.


Text by Mitch Kenworthy


The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to present sweetly, sparkly, a new Glass Corner exhibition by Yeonoo Park. This work will be exhibited in the Southwest corner window of the Libby Leshgold Gallery and is viewable from outside.


Yeonoo Park (b.1995, Seoul, Korea) is an emerging interdisciplinary artist currently based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Her recent paintings use animation as a tool to articulate gestures and movements. She is curious about the aspects of temporality and ambiguity intertwined in the process of deeply observing and reiterating everyday moments, memories, dreams, and daydreams into moving images. She takes great pleasure in cooking, swimming, team sports, and road trips.


Yeonoo completed her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2021. She has shown work for the City of Vancouver’s public art program Platforms 2020: Public Works (2020), for Simon Fraser University’s visual symposium Field Stories: Community-Engaged Research in Times of Crisis (2021), and in Window Art Walk, Vancouver (2022).


Mitch Kenworthy is a painter and sometimes a writer, living and working on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. Recent projects include Rehearsing a Frame for at dreams comma delta (2021), Ladner, B.C., and Gnome (2020), Surrey, B.C.


Glass Corner is a project of the Libby Leshgold Gallery that aims to support emerging and diverse art practices, with artists encouraged to make work directly for the site. Openings are held outside in the Southern plaza.




Canada Council for the Arts


Image courtesy of the artist.