May 23 - June 20, 2009
We have some good news and some sad news . . . the good news first.
O·H+T Gallery is pleased to present Small Works, an exhibition of paintings by John Obuck. Obuck's new work marks a departure from the constructed, abstractions he exhibited at O·H+T in December, 2006. No longer an abstract painter, he now paints landscapes, still lifes, nudes and portraits.
Obuck's abstract work focused on formal issues such as the relationship of figure to ground, how color relationships define space, and the disparity between the two and three-dimensional aspects of painting. The headless nudes, odd still lifes, and travelscapes in Obuck's current exhibition seem a radical departure, but the themes of the earlier work are revisited here, as is Obuck's interest in art history and the conventions of painting.
In Uxmal, a wide black border frames the painterly, monochromatic depiction of a Mayan step pyramid surrounded by an expressionless sky. The dramatic spatial shift from the flat border to the pale, vacant space occupied by the ruin evokes a disquieting sense of the lost past, while illustrating the same use of spatial geometry seen in Obuck's earlier abstract work.
The figurative works in the exhibition are as illusive and mysterious as Obuck's strange landscapes. Portrait of Laura and Portrait of Umberto, both depict their subjects as seen from the rear against a neutral backdrop. Framed by Obuck's signature wide border, the figures seem like bashful specimens trapped within a shadow box. A series of nude Boob paintings depict headless female torsos cropped to focus on the geometry of two orb-like breasts with perfectly circular nipples. Within the windows of these small works, Obuck documents his personal icons, and offers us a glimpse of his quirky life vision and wry sense of humor.
John Obuck lives in New York and Arizona. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and has been awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in Painting, the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank and General Electric Corporation. This is his third one-person exhibition at O·H+T Gallery.
And now the sad news . . . after 8 years on Harrison/Thayer Street, O·H+T Gallery will be closing at the end of June. We want to acknowledge and to thank our artists and our many supporters. You have made those eight years an exciting and rich adventure for us both. Our heartfelt thanks . . .