HEIN KOH: SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
Marvin Gardens is pleased to present Splendor in the Grass, a solo exhibition of sculptures by Brooklyn-based artist Hein Koh.
With towering flowers and anthropomorphic edibles strewn among a field of Astroturf, Hein Koh has transformed Marvin Gardens into a phantasmagorical garden of another variety altogether. Created with the specific gallery space in mind, the exhibition features Koh’s largest works to date, including tearful daisies and a gaping cheeseburger, which peer on at viewers as they stroll through this immersive wonderland.
While Koh’s work has always towed a line between dualities, whether challenging definitions of masculine and feminine gender norms or presenting seductive forms in grotesque caricature, her latest sculptures examine the idea of innocence or a pure childlike naïveté contrasted with the inevitable pain and melancholy that comes from lived experience.
The works throughout the exhibition are inspired in large part by the artist’s young twin daughters. Koh pulls examples of the playful imagery present in their clothing, books, and toys, creating massive manifestations of otherwise innocuous objects, with a few key subversive details included. Not unlike the popular television program, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Koh revels in the wonderment of a world created for kids, while also allowing in a darker humor to be appreciated by knowing adults.
Always at least a little irreverent, Koh takes her sauciness very seriously. While a daisy’s gaze may follow you around the room or a large ice cream cone beckons suggestively with its tongue, these instances of standing on equal footing with the art are important opportunities for reflection. Like “Sad Rose with Stigmata,” we too were once buds in full bloom, but once the pain of our own lost innocence is acknowledged, we can grow to even higher heights.