Feb 7: Architect Nathan Rich Joins Artist Jong Oh for Panel Discussion at MARC STRAUS Gallery



SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2016, 3-7 PM 

The Jong Oh exhibition, currently on view at Marc Straus Gallery, has been extended until February 26, 2016. A reception and artist talk will be held on Sunday, February 7 from 3-7 pm. Jong Oh, architect Nathan Rich (www.pro-arch.com) and Marc Straus Gallery Director Ken Tant will discuss the reciprocal relationship between minimalism in sculpture and architecture focusing on the fundamentals of material and space. The artist talk will begin at 3 pm. Korean food will be served following the talk.

Jong Oh (born 1981) creates minimal sculptures made of hand-painted string, delicate jewelry chains, tiny nails, stones, Plexiglas, metal rods and weights and an occasional graphite line that suggest basic geometric shapes and respond to the natural qualities of light and space of a site. The spatial arrangements of Oh’s sculpture installed on the gallery’s second floor elevate the natural beauty of the space by bringing attention to small architectural details including the corners of the rooms, the area above the door, and the arbitrary position of a particular wall. In the second floor’s center room, the Oh’s sculpture occupies the entire expanse creating a total environment that requires constant looking and moving on the part of the viewer. In the light-filled front room with its double height ceiling, tenuous strings and shards of Plexiglas are pulled into form by small stones or metal pendulums tied almost invisibly to the 21-foot high ceiling. These novel constructions appear to be as solid as any wall or column. However, the slightest movement reveals that they are actually illusory drawings in air. The longer one spends with these works the more one’s senses are heightened; not only is one made aware of the physicality and materiality of the elements, but also of one’s own physical boundaries.

Oh’s constructions are unabashedly honest; the works are deliberately left exposed, disclosing the assembly process. Every single object is important to the overall composition and each is carefully considered for its intrinsic physical properties. Plexiglas shifts from invisibility to brilliant-opaque when catching light from a certain angle, white threads are colored in strategic lengths to “disappear;” metal rods and chains have a dull but unique luster; and two-dimensional printed images of water contain the depth of an ocean, all at the hands of Oh.

While his works can appear deeply analytical and mathematical, Oh’s process involves a significant element of intuition and artistic experimentation. Other such dichotomies exist throughout the work: simplicity and profundity, ambiguity and lucidity, tension and freedom. In these altars of clarity and tranquility, Oh demands his viewers to slow down and focus on the neglected details.

About Jong Oh

Born in 1981 in Mauritania, Jong Oh earned a BFA from Hongik University in Seoul and an MFA from School of Visual Art in New York where he lives and works. In 2014–2015, he has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Krinzinger, Austria; Jochen Hempel, Leipzig; and MARSO, Mexico City. He has been in numerous group shows worldwide. In 2011, Oh was one of 12 graduate US artists selected in FIRST LOOK at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY. In 2014 he was the recipient of a major outdoor commission prize for a sculpture on the Hudson River waterfront in Peekskill, NY. Jong Oh is represented by MARC STRAUS. www.ohjong.com


MARC STRAUS, located at 299 Grand Street, is a contemporary art gallery that opened in 2011. The gallery specializes in discovering and fostering some of the best new international art talent, representing 16 artists from 10 countries most of whom are established but have not shown in the US before. The mission of discovering new artists and re-discovering recognized talent has established MARC STRAUS as one of New York’s leading contemporary art galleries. The gallery continues to extend its program to a wider audience by regularly participating in fairs and biennials in the US as well as Europe and Asia. www.marcstraus.com