All objects, all phases of culture are alive. They have voices. They speak of their history and interrelatedness. And they are all talking at once! - Camille Paglia
Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Interiors, a solo exhibition of new works by Chris Oh. The exhibition, organized by Fortnight Institute, will open on Wednesday, February 7, 6-8pm.
Chris Oh’s exhibition Interiors explores our perception of how we interpret an interior space. Delicately replicating domestic scenes from 15th-century Early Netherlandish art onto found materials, Oh transforms mundane refuse into distinctly unique items. These relics of our daily lives carry the histories of their use and function. Often found on walks, in the home, or in the studio, they subtly evoke feelings and memories of home, the core of our daily lives. Displayed in an installation format, Interiors immerses the viewer into these meditative scenes. It re-evaluates our notions of the home and how we live with everyday items by questioning the value we put in material objects.
Oh deconstructs art-historical compositions and narratives, dissects and magnifies the experience of painting through the contemporary physicality of installation. Oh’s iconography of the everyday thoughtfully inhabits the gallery space, inviting the viewer to come into these interior worlds. Perhaps these interiors are a metaphor for entering the realm of the contemplative mind. Details are taken from paintings of the Northern Renaissance by artists Jan van Eyck, Robert Campin and others, and re-visualized through the use of unorthodox and ordinary objects, such as plastic crates, cardboard, a CD, backgammon game board and clock. Sensitive, elegant scenes and details are often to be discovered on hard and raw materials such as metal, stone or crystal. This disparity creates tension & complexity. Familiar objects become unfamiliar. Their uses and functions turned upside down. Relations between objects can be seen from a detail on one piece and continued right onto another, as seen in The Enclosed Garden installation, between Bundle and Spine. A play on surfaces can also be seen on A-Frame, where the detailed folds of drapery on the female figure is echoed through the plastic criss-crossed design of the A-frame sign often found on sidewalks or construction sites.
Personal stories are attached to a few objects in Interiors, which carry tales of life and individuals. For example, Damascus, with a detail of Mary’s hand holding a small bunch of sweet-scented flowers towards the hands of infant Jesus, is painted on a honey jar and gifted to the artist by his mother every year. Duel, painted on a backgammon board game, is the artist’s brother childhood board game. Other objects are simply found on the street, its personal histories lost in time. They too become tombstones to the transience of everyday life. Axis, a painted clock, hangs on the wall, as a commonplace memento mori of the 21st century.
Chris Oh (b. 1982, Portland, OR) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from School of Visuals Arts, New York 2004 and has recently exhibited at Fortnight Institute, New York and Edward Ressle Gallery, New York. This is his first solo exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters.