For P·P·O·W’s first year at Frieze New York the gallery will show works by Sarah Oppenheimer, Adam Putnam, and Martin Wong. The booth is conceived of as a collaborative installation between Oppenheimer and Putnam, and will include original works by both artists, as well as a historical work by Wong that connects the two installations. Oppenheimer’s work both disorients and clarifies our experience of the built environment. Intervening upon the ubiquitous architectural array, Oppenheimer challenges us to notice the spaces we inhabit. The booth will feature Oppenheimer’s new sculpture P-01(14). The piece will collapse multiple spaces onto a single surface, thereby scrambling the perceived singularity of place.
Adam Putnam will respond to Oppenheimer’s P-01(14) with his own intervention, which will include a series of photographs and a sculpture. Through a multi-media discipline that includes performance, drawing, and photography, Putnam grapples with the body's relationship to its environment. He explores the idea of the physical self as being one with architecture and space, and brings intimacy into his work through the blurring of these lines. This abstraction of the relationship between the individual being and the physical architecture upends the traditional hierarchy through which we perceive ourselves in a space, positioning the body as second to its environment, and calling attention to the psychological depth of light and dark within space.
Putnam and Oppenheimer’s selection of Wong’s brick painting Heaven, 1988, emphasizes all three artists’ interest in surfaces and dimensionality. Putnam explains, “I cannot escape an idea that there is fractal dimension to the work where any meaning found is contained within itself and does not refer to an outside reality. If a fractal is a whole that is comprised of smaller units of itself, like bricks in a façade, then perhaps each canvas is a brick, made in a small room in a tenement apartment building with the largest painting being the size of his living room wall….”
Adam Putnam engages in a variety of media, spanning performance, drawing and photography. The work of Adam Putnam has been included in various exhibitions worldwide, most notably: the Whitney Biennial, New York (2008); the 2nd Moscow Biennial, Moscow (2007); the Busan Biennial, South Korea (2008); MoMA PS1, New York (2007); and The Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2005). Curatorial projects have included an exhibition of Martin Wong entitled Everything Must Go at P·P·O·W (2009) and Blow Both of Us at Participant Inc. (2007). Recent projects include solo exhibitions at Locust Projects, Miami, (2012) and at Artpace, San Antonio (2013). Most recently Putnam's work was included in an exhibition curated by Tyler Coburn at Galerie Mezzanin in Vienna (2013). He will have a solo-exhibition with P·P·O·W in September (2014).
Sarah Oppenheimer was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in 2010-2011 and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2011. Austin-born Oppenheimer has been the focus of solo exhibitions held at: Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (2012); P·P·O·W, New York (2012 and 2006); von Bartha Garage, Basel (2010); Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, MO (2008); and The Drawing Center, New York (2002). Select group shows include Factory Direct, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2012); and Automatic Cities, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2009). Oppenheimer has forthcoming exhibitions at Kunsthaus Baselland (May 2014) and Annely Juda Fine Art, London (2015).
Martin Wong (1946-1999) was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, California. He studied ceramics at Humboldt State University, graduating in 1968. During the '70s he was active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene, and was involved with the performance art groups The Cockettes and Angels of Light. In 1978 he moved to Manhattan, eventually settling in the Lower East Side, where his attention turned exclusively to painting. Wong died in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness in 1999. The Martin Wong Foundation has been created in his memory. Wong's work can be found in museum collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; de Young Museum, San Francisco; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art., New York The Martin Wong Papers reside at the Fales Library, New York University. He had a one person show Sweet Oblivion at the New Museum in 1998. The Museum of the City of New York is currently exhibiting Martin Wong’s Graffiti Collection in an exhibition titled City as Canvas, which will be on view through August 2014.