Structure and Space Sept 4th– Dec 31st, 2020
Senem Oezdogan, Fred Bendheim, Jim Osman, Christian Nguyen
Court Tree Collective proudly presents Structure and Space, a group exhibition featuring works by New York-based artists Christian Nguyen, Jim Osman, Senem Oezdogan, and Fred Bendheim. These four artistic voices are united by their translation of highly personal observation through the core visual elements of line, surface, color, and space. They invite us to enter a rich spatial world created by the intersection of distinct aesthetic perspectives.
Christian Nguyen’s most recent paintings celebrate architecture as a monumental gesture that reimagines scale and our paths within the field of painting. Cultivating strong kinship with secular and religious European and Southeast Asian architecture, sculpture, and painting, Nguyen invites the viewer to wander among intertwining architectural elements - arches, windows, doors, roofs - as a transformative experience. In this constant reconfiguration of space, as the artist points out, “painting acts as a mirror, inviting the awareness of the surface and of the act of looking”. As viewers we are welcome to dream and envision the dance of light and shadows, intimate gestures that echo the monumentality of our human spirit.
Jim Osman is renowned for his work that inhabits the space between sculpture, furniture, and architecture. Osman’s objects are intimate free-standing assemblages executed with a playful intentionality. The artist consistently offers well-balanced attention to surface and interiority through stacks that shift scale between Montessori building blocks and domestic architecture. In Random Ashlar (2018) Osman juxtaposes raw wood grain with painted sections that formally oppose the physicality of his table-top construction. By employing hidden joinery, Osman creates gravity-defying works that conjure the suspense of a Jenga championship match.
Senem Oezdogan is a Brooklyn-based painter whose practice includes painting, drawing, and fiber works. Her work focuses on the exploration of the transformation of paint into light and the creation of three-dimensional reality on a flat surface. Her most recent paintings are composed of geometric shapes, using convex and concave elements. The smooth waves of gradients enveloping the surface generate the illusion of movement and depth. Playing with the juxtaposition of what the mind knows and the eye sees, these forms are perceived as three-dimensional objects which create an anthropomorphic and biomorphic system of relationships that evoke to the human body and nature as well as architecture. Like stand-alone objects, they occupy the viewer’s space and seem to continue beyond the canvas where shape turns into form, form turns into volume and volume turns into emotion.
Fred Bendheim’s extensive career of artistic curiosity straddles the boundaries between abstract painting and relief sculpture. Carved from PVC boards, his recent “shapings” series entangle cultural and art historical references from Navajo sand painting, native to current-day Arizona where the artist hails from, to Matisse and Elizabeth Murray. The artist describes his work as “showing what’s on the inside” or “making the invisible visible”. This is especially present in Inner Conversation (2019). The artist’s precise selection of colors at the points of intersection suggest a transparency that defies the physical flatness of the surface. This effect is constantly reinvented throughout Bendheim’s artwork and always offers surprising rewards.