Hyun Kyung Yoon at Cross Mackenzie Gallery
Cross MacKenzie Gallery promises to get noticed in 2015. Last year, owners Rebecca Cross and Max MacKenzie bought a new address for the gallery at 1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW (a gem of a space vacated by Heiner Contemporary last January). With Addison/Ripley just across the street, the gallery is helping carve out a new outpost for art in Georgetown, once a D.C. bastion of painting, photography, and craft. And with its first show in 2015, Korean artist Hyun Kyung Yoon’s “Why, Ai Weiwei?”, the gallery will test the boundaries of its focus on ceramic arts. For this show, Yoon recreates the Qing and Han Dynasty vases famously appropriated by the titular notorious Beijing artist. While Weiwei has dipped these vases in industrial paint and even destroyed them to make his own work, Yoon presents them as vessels. Is that a promotion or demotion? Yoon’s work might be a playful misreading of Weiwei’s acts of creative destruction or a cynical appropriation of his commanding presence in the contemporary art market. I rather hope that the latter is the case, and that she’s not mounting a rearguard for tradition, craft, and the Qing Dynasty.