Sometimes, thinking of New York’s Chelsea gallery district brings to mind big-box shows, glamorous spectacle and a certain lack of subtlety. But on the other side of town, through June 21, the Richard Taittinger Gallery in the far less-assuming East Village is hosting Haluk Akakce’s first U.S. presentation in nearly a decade, and the pairing is certainly appropriate. Come Midnight exhibits Akakce’s new work focusing on “the delicate balance between the earth and spirit world,” featuring video, paintings and drawings that seem invite an inquisitive spirit in the viewer, rather than demand it of them.
Akakce’s fully and semi-monochromatic compositions make liberal use of negative space, giving his forms plenty of breathing room and allowing the eye to roam. Alternating between flowing, freehanded lines in a manner reminiscent of Zen calligraphy and cleaner, Notan-like mechanical forms, they present for the viewer an abstract take on a variety of themes and archetype portraits. Subtlety and intricacy go hand in hand with these. Regardless of whether one is inclined to delve into more contemplative dialogues or not – Akakce describes himself as an artist whose works “give the feeling of space and infinite time” – the work does have a way of drawing your attention and quietly holding it.