Mie Yim at Michael Steinberg

The place one's psyche might romp when perusing Mie Yim's illustrations for her alphabet book, A.B.C. of S.E.X., is a whole other story. These sunny pastels of fuzzy creatures in down-and-dirty positions—one performs a rim job to illuminate "A"; others surround a pink feline on her knees for "G"—are the perfect expression of an oversexualized, infantilized culture, in which some grownups do the nasty in furry costumes derived from plush toys. Elsewhere in her new show, this Korean-born artist reworks the old "scary doll" trope in deft paintings that focus tightly on the visages of toys, her raking brush conveying the chalky radiance of pastels while delivering ambiguous abstractions of candy-colored orbs and bulbous curves. In 2008's The Gatekeeper, a yellow beak anchors a round green face, whose edges bleed into a beautiful, claustrophobic background teeming with adorable minions bathed in crepuscular light. This quirky show is titled "Strangers," an appropriate moniker from someone who notes in her artist's statement that she identifies herself as "a stranger both to the big Western art boys of the past and present and to vacant, poppy Asian culture."
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Starts: Jan. 9. Continues through Feb. 7, 2009

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