81 Leonard Gallery is pleased to present Middle Ground, featuring Jen DeLuna, Ray Hwang, Soobin Jeon, and Rochelle Voyles. On view August 10th through September 23rd, Middle Ground presents both two and three-dimensional work that negotiates with material, narrative, and each other.

In Soobin Jeon’s ceramic vessels, smiley faces are inflected with the eeriness of droop; the delightfulness of kitsch, maximalist surfaces are complicated by hollowness. Layers of paint in Ray Hwang’s work, applied with both soft airbrushing and hard-edge brushstrokes, function like lenses filtering images, memories, and messages from blurriness to lucidity. Rochelle Voyle’s collages intertwine places and histories through cut-out forms that recall thread and the language of cloth while physically intervening with cutting rather than sewing. Jen DeLuna’s shifting representational style within singular paintings and across series presents a processing of memory humored with apathy, voyeurism, and art-historical reference. Sharing space, the works exhibited find the Middle Ground between hard and soft, additive and subtractive, surface and depth.

Jen DeLuna (b.1999) is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work draws upon recognizable moments and iconography, often combining different styles in a singular work. She received her BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University in 2021. She has exhibited work most recently in New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Miami.

Ray Hwang (b. 1992) is an artist from Los Angeles, currently living and working out of Ridgewood, NY. His work consists primarily of acrylic painting and drawing, in which he uses recurring motifs from throughout his personal history to explore themes of family, home and inter-cultural contradiction. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2016 and has participated in exhibitions in Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia, New Jersey and throughout New York City. He has been featured most recently with Art Maze Magazine, Vast Magazine, and was a recipient of both the Keyholder Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop in New York and the Plum Lime Residency in Brooklyn. He has shown recently with Tube Culture Hall (Milan, Italy), 11 Newel Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Spring/ Break Art Show (New York, NY), and LaiSun Keane Gallery (Boston, MA). He opened his first solo exhibition in New York recently with Latitude Gallery (New York, NY).

Soobin Jeon was born in New Jersey and spent formative years between New York and Seoul. She is a mixed media artist based in Boston. Her expertise extends to ceramics and practices at Harvard Ceramics Studio. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, with a BFA in Graphic Design, Soobin has also completed several residencies throughout her career, each time expanding her artistic horizon and cultivating her creativity.

Rochelle Voyles (b. 1989, Toledo, Ohio) is a Brooklyn based multi-disciplinary artist who works in hand cut collage and paint. She dislocates, interrupts, and re-purposes found images in order to decipher her experience of reality and our collective relationship to photographs. She received her BFA in Fine Arts/Printmaking from Pratt Institute in 2012. She was a 2023 resident at The Peter Bullough Foundation Residency in Winchester, VA, a 2022 resident at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony and a 2021 resident at the ChaNorth ChaShama Artist Residency. She has shown at galleries in New York including Trestle Gallery, Peninsula Art Space, The Local Project, and Collarworks.