Sabak’s exhibition The Parts collects works from different series that she produced in 2020. As the title indicates, the artist depicts objects, scenes, and memories from everyday life with quick, concise brushstrokes of acrylic paint on canvasses of various sizes. In accordance with the characteristics of acrylic paint (which dries quickly), Sabak produces each painting very rapidly, without much mixing of colors. As a result, her works resonate with a painterly intention, highlighting the brushstrokes and the vivacity of the limited color palette of green, blue, and purple.
In some of the paintings (e.g., A Double-Eyed, Wobbling Dog, and Portrait-Images Circulating on the Internet), the outlines of the depicted object are so distorted that it is impossible to tell whether it is a person or an animal. As such, these works seem to manifest the gaze of a subject, rather than the physical form of an object. This distortion or ambiguity is further conveyed by words like “wobbling” and “circulating” in the title. Perhaps the subject that is looking at the object is trembling or rushing past, or perhaps the object is simply too trivial to merit serious attention. In any case, the objects appear like blurry afterimages, as if they were out of sight until the last moment.
Significantly, Sabak’s preferred palette of blue, green, and purple corresponds to approaching objects (i.e., with shorter wavelengths) in accordance with the Doppler effect. Her emphasis on approaching light might suggest her intention to bring forgotten objects of daily life back to the fore. The artist’s attention to objects that are quickly passing or that have been captured a beat too late is further indicated by titles such as Close Up or Cloudy Ones. Her rapid brushstrokes summon the speed of the gaze, the passage of time that is one beat ahead, and the ambiguity of both memory and the object.
The “parts” in Sabak’s paintings are things that the artist has omitted or overlooked, things that are bound to be forgotten, or things that have elided her process of confronting the world. Like keeping a diary, her art is derived from the intense effort to revisit or recall missing memories, unfulfilled promise, or overlooked objects. The artist’s feelings of belated recognition are deeply felt in works like Withered Flowers. Although the sum of the parts may not be the whole, the empty parts, or parts between the parts, can be excellent guides for revealing the invisible world.
Accidental pieces of images that are scattered here and there, existing as afterimages. I collect these trivial sights from around me, painting my impressions of them with a sense of instantaneity.
To visualize moments when ordinary images feel unfamiliar, I create faint, spontaneous images through a variety of expressions, including partial omission, enlargement, cropping, color variation, blurring shapes, and obscured surroundings. Sporadically unraveling these motifs, I fill the canvas with fragmentary visual elements whose existence can only be vaguely postulated, ultimately seeking to bring the object of the work to an ambiguous pictorial point.
from the artist’s notes