Anna K.E.

Blowing From the East Fallen Leaves Gather in the West

Simone Subal Gallery
131 Bowery, 2nd Floor
New York
Lower East Side
Nov 12th 2021 — Jan 29th 2022

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The title of Anna K.E.’s exhibition at Simone Subal Gallery, “Blowing from the East Fallen Leaves Gather in the West,” alludes to the artist’s own background: K.E. was raised in the Caucasus region of Western Europe before relocating to New York City. Two walls slice the gallery into angles; each bears a chalk grid applied by snapping graphite-soaked string against the wall in an adaptation of the ancient Japanese sumitsubo.

On each wall are drawings that resemble schematics. Their symbols are more subtle and, perhaps, private: snakes wound up in small, north-facing coils; arrowed vectors of force; bright four-cornered stars. A mop of hair and a pair of musical staffs are visible on one slate-colored panel, wherein a small patch of fish scales mirrors the plume of clouds in another. In one drawing, exquisitely worked-over rhomboids are rendered with a feathery density; in another, rain spills softly. One section subverts a sense of space, depicting what looks like another interior with a patterned and painted-over wall.

An eponymous sculpture, Blowing From the East (2021), hangs from the ceiling via metal strings at the gallery’s center. Though the sculpture resembles a small-scale model of a city, its forms recall cheese graters, motherboards and metal components of mysterious machinery. Silver railings enclose ambiguous pockets of space; a winged tunnel transports imaginary passengers across space; soldered gates mark unsure lines like poorly structured scaffolding. Like fallen eastern leaves that gather in the west: this sculpture might reference the vast, generic bureaucracies that propel the gears of civilization in a globalized society. —Lisa Yin Zhang

Anna K.E. I Ask No More (MISCHIEF: they were wild geese), 2019-2020. Pencil, spray paint, acrylic, indian ink, and oil stick on paper, 59 × 78 ¾ inches. Photo: Dario Lasagni.

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