& Osamu Kobayashi
January 31 – February 23, 2014
reception: Friday, January 31, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Björn Meyer-Ebrecht and Osamu Kobayashi share an interest in abstraction and geometry, an investigation that takes place within the vocabulary of their respective practice. Both artists reference the tradition of Modernism and react to its totalizing reductivity. The results are pure, logical and graphic–work that can be appreciated for its clarity and elegance. At the same time, the work succeeds because of relationships it establishes to the physical world, not just those within the formal elements of its own construction. In the practice of Björn Meyer-Ebrecht, the barriers between sculpture, furniture and architecture dissolve so that the artwork enters the real space of the viewer. In a less obvious manner, the paintings of Osamu Kobayashi become environmental, referencing landscape, light and air. Both artists invite the viewer to interrogate the extended meanings within the language of their practice.
Osamu Kobayshi‘s paintings are reductive in form, often slightly asymmetrical, and employ a spontaneous and intuitive array of colors, shapes and textures. Using these elements Kobayashi creates visual dualities: chance vs. control, organic vs. geometric, warm vs. cool, large vs. small. The goal is to create work with a sensation similar to that of a clear thought with no room for argument. In reality, however, his paintings can never be clear thoughts; they are much more open. They are a confrontation between what we desire to know and what we can never know entirely.
Björn Meyer-Ebrecht’s sculptures, Seating Arrangements, consist of benches and platforms that the artist has designed to be used by the visitors of the gallery. They are simple architectural objects equal in terms of furniture, architectural structure and sculpture; as such, they are equally to be looked at and to be used. In a tongue-and-cheek way these sculptures address Barnett Newman’s saying, “Sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to see a painting,” and turn it on its head.
Seating Arrangements are also abstract plains and geometric shapes floating in space. In Meyer-Ebrecht’s practice, sculpture is a device in which the concrete and the abstract always exist together. While fulfilling its purpose as furniture, the sculpture offers the possibility to explore the language of abstraction, opening up a place for invention and play.
About the artists
Osamu Kobayashi was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1984. He has exhibited widely in the US and abroad including solo exhibitions at Greenwich House in New York, AplusB Contemporary Art in Italy, and John Davis Gallery in New York. He was recently awarded the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a recipient of the Morris Louis ’32 scholarship. Osamu currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Björn Meyer-Ebrecht was born in Hamburg, Germany, and since 2000 has been based in NYC. After studying at the University for the Arts in Berlin, he received his MFA from Hunter College in 2002. His work has been included in group shows in a variety of venues in New York and beyond, among them Lesley Heller Workspace, Storefront Bushwick, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Pocket Utopia, New Jersey Visual Arts Center and Galeria Casa Triangulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In April 2013 he had a solo show at the Mattewan Gallery in Beacon, NY.
In the project space:
The artwork of Olivie Ponce investigates connections with ordinary feelings and sensations. By showing the viewer forms from daily life, he highlights aesthetic and design concepts determined by the media. Ponce works with a wide variety of
shaped painting supports including plexiglas with classic old frames. His paintings commonly feature layered surfaces of paint of monochromatic colors, which creates an organic, abstract appearance. The works exude both sensuality and beauty but also connect broadly to modern life.
About the artist
Olivié Ponce was born in Mexico City and trained in Fine Arts at the Universidad de Guanajuato (BFA). Since 2007 Ponce has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York. He was represented by FONCA (National Fund for the Culture and the Arts, Mexico) in 2001 and 2005. He participated at the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists in 2009. Ponce has exhibited his work in several international venues: Gallery Ho, Seoul Korea; The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK; and La Esmeralda Gallery, Mexico City. Olivié Ponce: Extra-Estetica was the artist’s first solo gallery show in New York. He was awarded a fellowship from the Dedalus Foundation for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2011. Ponce’s work is featured in the movie, What Maisie Knew (2013), with Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard and in group shows at Chashama’s Curate NYC Exhibit and at WAH Center in Brooklyn in 2013.