William Ris Gallery welcomed a vibrant crowd for the Opening Reception of "Robert Oxnam: Chinese Inspiration/North Fork Creationon Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the North Fork gallery. Over 100 people attended who traveled from the East End, Long Island, New York and further afield to help celebrate the solo show by the artist, author and former president of the Asia Society in New York. Among the crowd was artist and architect Allan Wexler, film director and author Amie Wallach, gallery artists Scott McIntire, Marilyn Weiss, Peter Beston and others.

“What a pleasure to share my twin interests — Chinese culture and North Fork art-making," said Robert Oxnam. "Great turnout and enthusiasm all around."

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Oxnam Opening Reception. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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The exhibition was co-curated by Oxman and his wife, Dr. Vishakha N. Desai, a scholar of Asian Art. The exhibition presents over 40 works of wood sculptures, color photographs and ink drawings that explore Oxnam’s artistic persona – a merging of Chinese philosophy and artistic tradition, American resourcefulness and imagination. Inspired by “Chinese Scholars Rocks” (gongshi) that highlight natural shapes in ancient stones weathered in riverbeds and mountains, Oxnam’s sculptures also pay tribute to the beauty and spirit of the North Fork through weathered wood found on the shores of the Long Island Sound from Port Jefferson to Orient Point.

Oxnam’s digital photographic are based on glacial rocks found on the Long Island coastline are inspired by his quest for Qi, the Chinese belief that certain life force or energy flow is found around us. Taken with a macro lens, his images capture the abstract geological patterns found on the rocks dating from the last ice age. 

Oxnam’s ink drawings are dynamic responses to his sculptures and contain a vigor and brilliance reminiscent of Franz Kline, Jackson Pollack and Chinese ink-wash paintings of the 20th century.

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"Cai II" by Robert Oxnam. Weathered wood, naturally embedded rocks, organic milk paint and waxes, 14 x 14 x 13 inches. Courtesy of William Ris Gallery.

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Oxman will give an Artist Talk on Saturday, July 28, 2018, from 4 to 6 p.m. to offer insights into the work and the way the North Fork and China comingle inspiration in his biomorphic art.

Continue scrolling to see who made the scene and the Opening Reception a vibrant one.

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Artists Valeris Zeman and Marilyn Weiss. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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Architect & artist Allan Wexler with artist Scott McIntire. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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Vishakha Desai, exhibiting artist Robert Oxnam and Mary Cantone, gallery owner and director. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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Art Lover Eleni Vokas with Robert Oxnam's outdoor sculptures. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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Shari Cai and Jimmy Gao. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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Marc Cantone. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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The Goldstein's at Robert Oxman's Opening Reception. Photo by Pares Mallis. Courtesy William Ris Gallery.

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BASIC FACTS:  "Robert Oxnam" is on view from July 14 to August 12, 2018. An Artist Talk takes place on Saturday, July 28, 2018, 4 to 6 pm. William Ris Gallery is located at 1291 Main Road, Jamesport, NY 11947. The gallery is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. www.williamris.com.

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