Incendiary artist Terence Koh stages his triumphant return to the art world.
Once the premiere bad boy of the New York art scene, artist and provocateur Terence Koh vowed to leave the city and the same art world that once idolized him in late 2014. Leaving all galleries that represented him at the time and retreating to live in isolation on a mountain in upstate New York, it seemed like Koh would never again plate his feces in gold or circle around an enormous pile of solar salt on his knees for weeks on end.
As could have been expected from an artist who claimed to be leaving the art world once before, Koh is returning to same the art world he seemingly abandoned. Or as Andrew Edlin, owner of Andrew Edlin Gallery which now represents Koh, tells us: “There has been no ‘hiatus.’ Terence simply moved to an isolated area to be more connected with nature. Without distraction, closer to God, at one with the universe.”
On April 8th, 2016, a strange press release for from Andrew Edlin Gallery circulated the web, describing Terence Koh’s upcoming solo show, bee chapel. Martin Luther King quotes and news excerpts describing the birth of a bald eagle filled the page, along with a grammatically odd philosophical inquiry at the top: “doo yoo remember the moment when you first came from yoor mother’s womb? the instant of birth? please this is very important, take a quiet moment to remember.”
“The press release is a work of art,” Edlin tells The Creators Project, a fact that becomes much more apparent when contextualized with the exhibition’s second press release released shortly after. Reading and looking much more like a normal gallery press release, the document explains that Koh will be transforming Andrew Edlin gallery into a “Living Garden of Eden," which will include “a living apple tree, a two-sided candle installation, beeswax sculptures and collages, [a] sound recording of two black holes colliding a billion light years away, and the bee chapel itself.”
Beyond these two documents, an unexplained image of a recently born baby, and three images of dioramic sculptures made with mostly natural materials, not much else has been revealed. Koh’s mysterious persona and the eclectic nature of his artistic output make it nearly impossible to anticipate what his work will like, a fact further complicated by new permanent residence upstate.
Whatever happens until then, bee chapel opens at Andrew Edlin Gallery on Saturday, May 21st, from 12-6 PM.