548 West, New YorkMay 9 - 12, 2024

Nature and Colors

Jiwon Jang, Flower Shower No.197, 2022, Acrylic on linen, 80.3✕80.3cm

Art has always imitated and been inspired by nature. From Flemish paintings of bucolic landscapes to 19th-century impressionists, to Land-Art, the love and fascination for nature, its colors, elements, and power have always been very present in art. Conceived as something beautiful yet powerful, but also moving and deeply inspiring, many artistic movements have drawn on the infinite beauty of nature to capture it in their way. If art was naturally conceived as an imitation and a direct representation of nature, nature itself became a work of art. For example, this extension of art into nature has notably unfolded in the American Land-Art from the 1960s onwards. Today, FOCUS Art Fair presents four artists who illustrate in their way the beauty of nature, the emotions that emanate from it, or even how nature can be integrated into the creative process.

Kim Ahonoukoun, Abstract waterlilies 6, 2021, Oil on canvas, 61✕91cm

The neo-impressionist artist Kim Ahonoukoun, strongly inspired by the work of the leader of impressionism Claude Monet, perpetuates this artistic movement full of colors and playing with light and shapes in her way. Her energy shines through in her paintings and constitutes a true force of nature. Kim Ahonoukoun is driven by her passion for color, light, and the beauty of nature and expresses it in her works with delicacy and harmony. Thus, her vibrant yet sensitive brushstrokes combined with a certain lyrical softness yield an oasis of serenity.

Jiwon Jang, Flower Shower No.198, 2022, Acrylic on linen, 81✕65cm

Kim Ahonoukoun, Williston 1, 2020, Oil on canvas, 91✕61cm

Like Ahonoukoun, self-taught American artist Marc van der Leeden sees his art as an impressionistic expression rather than a strict depiction of landscapes and nature. Using a relatively limited palette and graphite outlines, van der Leeden creates delicate and abstract watercolors. Marc van der Leeden wants his “loose” paintings to express his individual thoughts. The simplicity and authenticity of his gesture lend his works a certain deep and emotional dimension that pays homage to the beauty and turmoil of nature.

Korean artist Jiwon Jang also sees her art as an intimate expression of her passion for life and nature. Therefore, she lets herself be carried away by her emotional impulses to create immersive and vibrant compositions. It is deep emotional introspection that moves and motivates Jiwon Jang’s work. Her varied and colorful compositions are the very expression of her free and intuitive artistic gesture. In her Flower Shower series, the artist represents nature through the expression of a whirlwind of emotions and colors.

Marc van der Leeden, FLW, 2014, Watercolor, 45✕96cm

Marc van der Leeden, Florida Koi, 2020, Watercolor, 45✕96cm

Finally, although Joel Douek does not represent nature as such, it lies at the very heart of his art. Douek is attracted to aged woods and metal and explores their versatility in his works. He is fascinated by the beauty of nature, especially the textures of old reclaimed wood, the natural processes of aging and rusting of metals, and the vibrant colors that emanate from them. His work explores the inherent art that stems from natural impermanence in contrast to the permanence of gold. Joel Douek’s work depicts both the strength and delicacy of nature through natural processes, without the artist’s intervention. He likes to think that he is not the artist but nature is.

Joel Douek, Oceans, Oxidized copper and resin, 57✕35✕0.8cm

Joel Douek, Heartbeat, Oxidized steel, red patina, 24K gold leaf and resin, 36✕60✕0.75cm