Kinke Kooi: Preventing the Sharp from Being Sharp

January 14 - February 20, 2016

Press Release

SANDRA GERING INC. is pleased to present Preventing the Sharp From Being Sharp, Kinke Kooi’s first exhibition with the gallery.

The interior world of Kinke Kooi is rich with associations. At once ultra-feminine, thoroughly organic, suffocating yet teeming with life, Kooi creates highly detailed microcosms that seem to flourish entirely on their own energy. Her palette consists mainly of pastels, pink being the most prominent, and frilly embellishments can be found everywhere. Introduced into this is a good deal of flora, either birthed from or growing over and through various organ-like shapes. The combination can be intense, as if each drawing were grown in a petri dish. Rather than being off-putting, the combination feels sensual, even orgiastic.

Kooi’s sense of adaptability, a word she uses to describe her admittedly soft approach, can feel like a hothouse flower. Left to it’s own devices, each drawing flourishes profusely, surrounding, supporting and consuming everything in its vicinity, until its separate elements become inseparable. This obsessive incorporation of ‘other’ becomes a signifying feature in Kooi’s work, and one that the artist identifies a natural appreciation for. In fact, Kooi’s concept of ‘sheathing’, or preventing ‘sharpness’, can be found on several levels: miniature hidden texts, scenarios-within-scenarios, and the embrace of alternative viewpoints into one’s thinking all exist simultaneously in Preventing the Sharp.

Kinke Kooi was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 1961 and studied at the Academy for the Visual Arts, Arnhem. She has exhibited extensively since 1987, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem, the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands, the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Portland Museum of Modern Art, Portland, OR, the Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden, Netherlands, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY, the Dordrechts Museum, Netherlands, the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT and the Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, Netherlands. From 1998 through 2013, Kooi had five one-person exhibitions with Feature, Inc., Kooi’s previous representation in New York. The artist lives and works in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 6pm and Saturday, 11am to 5pm. For further information please contact Laura Bloom at 646.336.7183 or

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Kinke Kooi

Selected Press

Preventing the Sharp from Being Sharp
January 14, 2016

Imagine the decoration of your interior: you have made a critical (conscious) selection and arranged it all very well; it is not too full (which gives room to think) and everything has its own place. Let's say it looks cool and sharp... Than a very dear friend comes by, she is very excited because she has a very beautiful gift for you. When you unwrap the present you see right away that it is not your taste.
Will you be hospitable towards the gift and give it a spot in your interior with the unavoidable consequence of making it look less sharp and directed?
Imagine the world of ideas in your head as an interior and a misfit idea comes by. Will you be hospitable and give it a spot in the middle of your own ideas and thoughts and see what it looks like, trying to wrap your head around it?
I discovered that wrapping around is part of my natural appreciation and taste: I love pliable things like fabrics, pudding and flesh; jellyfish and creepers that need a construction to grow around, like decoration around a post. My taste is one of the soft approach and adaptability, which does not mean that I am hospitable to everything. To be honest: there is a secret disgust for the sharp, because I think sharp is about excluding, and exclusiveness...
So I decided to be hospitable to the sharp in my style of the soft approach. And suddenly the drawing looks like preventing the sharp from being sharp: wrapping your head around the sharp is like a sheath around a sword.
-Kinke Kooi, 2016

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Kinke Kooi

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