New York Winter Exhibition Highlights: Matthew Craven, Jong Oh and Robert Melee

January 26, 2016

The 2016 winter exhibition season in New York is off to strong start with three shows by MFA Fine Arts and BFA Fine Arts alumni that explore everything from prehistoric cultures to the psychology of the everyday.

Matthew Craven, "Land and Sea (Totem II)", 2015 Found image and ink on found paper, 60" x 40"

Matthew Craven, “Land and Sea (Totem II)”, 2015
Found image and ink on found paper, 60″ x 40″

Matthew Craven’s (MFA 2010 Fine Arts) latest exhibition of works on paper “Quiet Earth” combines found images of antiquity with abstract hand-drawn patterns of ambiguous origin. Craven’s collages compress millennia by placing the prehistoric next to the modern, suggesting a connection between cultures of all eras. On view at Asya Geisberg Gallery, 537B West 23rd Street, through February 20.

Jong Oh, Compo-site #14, 2016, Plexiglas, string, fishing wire, paint, weight 102 x 49 x 33 inches

Jong Oh, Compo-site #14, 2016, Plexiglas, string, fishing wire, paint, weight
102 x 49 x 33 inches

Jong Oh’s (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) third solo exhibition at Marc Straus features minimal sculptures that respond to the natural qualities of light and space in the gallery’s bright two-story room. 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, retaining the sense of solidity of walls and columns but revealed to be illusionary drawings in air. On view at Marc Straus Gallery, 299 Grand Street, through February 26.

Robert Melee, Bower Pool, 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable

Robert Melee, Bower Pool, 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable

“Semi-Quasi-Bower Recreational,” an exhibition of new works by Robert Melee (BFA 1990 Fine Arts), features paintings, sculptures and a large-scale installation that continues his investigation of the psychology of the everyday. Often incorporating cast-off quotidian items in his works alongside vividly colored poured paint, Melee points towards a melancholy specific to domestic space, one that is derived simultaneously from familiarity, decoration and otherness. On view at Andrew Kreps Gallery, 537/535 West 22nd Street, through February 13.

In addition, Laura Murray (BFA 2012 Fine Arts), Daria Irincheeva (BFA 2013 Fine Arts) and Gregg Louis (MFA 2009 Fine Arts) have work in the group show “this one is smaller than this one,” on view at Postmasters Gallery, 42 Franklin Street, Manhattan, through March 12.

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