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MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present a special reopening exhibition featuring the photo installation “Correspondence” by New York-based artist Yojiro Imasaka (b. 1983, Hiroshima). This project sheds light on the artist’s introspective work created during the last three months of the lockdown. When New York City was ordered to shut down, Imasaka was in the process of readying large-scale photographs for art fairs. As all activities froze, he went back to basics, reviewing negatives from his previous shooting trip to Japan. Over the next few weeks, Imasaka made more than 50 small gelatin silver prints in his darkroom, a process he could manage without a laboratory or assistant.
“Correspondence” is a contemplation based on bird’s-eye-views of a deep mountain forest in Northern Japan, all shot on the same spot. A spectrum of blue and green shades, like a paintbrush for a painter, expresses his emotional state corresponding nature’s untamed and transient appearance. Sometimes calm, sometimes fierce, the artist spiritually identifies himself with a multifaceted landscape.
"Sometimes dark, sometimes bright, the different shades of blue and green in this series of gelatin silver prints express my emotional swings in these days of an unknown future. The lockdown has caused me to look at numerous negatives again and print and tone them in the darkroom. Rather than capture phenomena happening outside, they are my correspondence with the sacred scenery in my distant homeland." ----Yojiro Imasaka
The artist will donate a portion of the proceeds to Doctor Without Borders for their Covid-19 medical efforts.
Yojiro Imasaka is from Hiroshima, Japan, and he lives and works in New York, USA. His work is in the permanent collection of Minneapolis Institute of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art and Mead Art Museum, all in USA. He employs a classic 8 x 10 camera in densely vegetated woodlands, spending hours observing subtle changes in the primeval scenery. After days of monitoring climate variations, he captures highly-detailed images of a universal landscape on a large format negative. Then, in the darkroom, he performs delicate toning and other alterations that create a distinctive custom hue. Like an Impressionist, Imasaka’s work reinterprets nature, extracting a final glow from its increasingly eroded state.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is honored to present The Legacy of ISSEI SUDA (1940-2019): Human Memory, the first posthumous exhibition in the United States of renowned Japanese photographer Issei Sudawho passed away in early 2019. This is the gallery’s second exhibition of the artist, following the 2014 exhibition “Life in Flower: 1971-1979.” The exhibition is from January 17 to February 29, 2020.
Issei Suda (b. 1940 – d. 2019) began his long and celebrated career in 1967 as a stage photographer of avant-garde Japanese theatre. His travels through Japan during the early 1970s inspired much of his work at the time and concentrated on street scenes. He discovered the random beauty of textures and patterns in nature, and of ordinary people in their everyday habitat. Throughout his career, Suda demonstrated an innate ability to show people as latent participants existing in the highly charged space between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
This exhibition, in tribute to Suda’s legacy, features approximately 25 monochrome prints selected from his 1996 monograph entitled Human Memory which won the Ken Domon Award. In the postscript of the book, Suda describes his snapshots of strangers and everyday scenes as a strong reminder of himself, identifying within the gaze of his subjects a very personal connection. He also believes a photographic image, even its fragment, reflects on the human emotions that are woven into everything around us – people, materials, nature, and therefore can reinvigorate a ghost-like ambiguous memory, often disorienting time and place.
The works in the exhibition were taken from the late 1970s to the early 1990s in various Japanese towns and cities. The scenery is often drab and austere. The vulnerability and naivety the viewer might feel perhaps stem from the rapid economic and cultural changes in Japan at the time. Suda typically pares his capture down and eliminates anything unnecessary from his square frame so that the viewer is drawn to ruminate on the mysterious essence of the subject. The extraordinary aspects of the everyday reveal themselves through Suda’s unique worldview. He is able to capture a reality not often seen by the naked eye, that is created during the moment of capture by the photographer without “thinking.”
The work of Issei Suda has been shown since the 1970s in numerous museum exhibitions, including “A Self-Portrait,“ International Center of Photography, New York 1979; “Japanese Photography in the 1970s – Memories Frozen in Time,” Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo 1991; and “The History of Japanese Photography,“ Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2003, Nagi no Hira- Fragments of Calm,” Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (2013). His works are in the collections of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles and the Art Institute of Chicago among many others.
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MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present the solo exhibition entitled Between Four Mountains by Yana Dimitrova (b.1983), a New York -based, Bulgarian-born painter and mixed-media artist. This is the artist’s third solo presentation at the gallery and the inaugural exhibition at its new Upper East Side location (24 East 64th Street). The exhibition will run from November 22 to December 21, 2019. An artist reception will be held on Friday, November 22nd from 6pm to 8pm. An exhibition essay by Yana Dimitrova can be downloadbale here.
Yana Dimitrova is a classically trained painter informed by contemporary theory and practice. Her work explores the interplay between artist, subject and viewer. For Dimitrova, her work is a conduit of her life as an immigrant and an artist – ideas around arriving and leaving behind, family and culture. Painting is a universal voice that can empower human experience and provide a sense of universality. “I hope to build onto the capacity of painting as a social medium, whilst creating a platform for interpersonal and collective agency.”
Dimitrova’s work is a heady mix of vibrant colors and exuberant brushstrokes that create palpable emotion. The viewer is swept up in her consciousness and reminisces alongside her despite not having been physically present at inception. The large canvas painting entitled “A Remembered Imagined Landscape” portrays a lush riverbank and sprawling mountain ranges – a landscape full of memory and motifs – with a barely perceptible human face in the distance, instilling a sensory familiarity. “Map of Love and Suffering”, a gouache painting functioning as a tapestry prototype design, is inspired by conversations with a fellow immigrant and Bulgarian folk singer. The theme mirrors experiences of Dimitrova’s own parents and grandparents. Another large painting, entitled “Parallel Portrait 1 ” is an affectionate and ubiquitous portrayal of shopkeepers, perhaps in the community that has welcomed her in. She depicts imagined and remembered places and people, some of whom no longer exist, based on visual recollections as well as simple verbal descriptions told by others.
For Between Four Mountains, Dimitrova spent time with her family, friends and neighbors in Bulgaria and her current base in Brooklyn, conversing, enquiring and connecting. The work conveys a sense of place and people described lovingly and longingly. By including fragments of stories and the emotional charge of conversations exchanged, Dimitrova weaves together the multi-faceted complexity of human memory and incorporate themes of struggle, empowerment and interpersonal relationships. Between Four Mountains transforms the gallery into a community space, where painterly dialogues unite people and build alliances, and exist as unique social tools for storytelling.
Yana Dimitrova studied painting and printmaking, achieving both her BFA and MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is currently conducting an international practice-lead PhD research at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels/Ghent, Belgium with focus on painting as a medium of empowerment. She has shown at various national and international venues such as The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (New York), Aronson Gallery (New York), Walke (Brussels, Belgium), OAZO (Amsterdam), Gallery Twenty-Four (Berlin, Germany), NXNW (Manchester, UK), Sofia City Gallery Museum and Credo Bonum (Sofia, Bulgaria), Field Projects, Flux Factory, NARS Foundation, and Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York). Her work is in the collection of Republic of Bulgaria Ministry of Culture Fund, Sofia City Gallery Museum National Art Fund, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, SCAD Museum, Paula and Glen Wallace collection, and numerous international private collections. Dimitrova is currently a part-time professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.
To kick off the 2019 fall art season, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of works by Mikiko Hara, an award-winning Japanese artist known for her square-format snapshot photography. Accompanied by the artist’s new publication, PHOTOPAPER 44/45, the exhibition will run from September 12 to October 26, 2019. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 12 from 6pm to 8pm.
In Hara’s latest series Kyrie— the title of which is inspired by its mystic sound rather than its origin in Christianity — the artist’s intuitive eye taps into hidden narratives behind seemingly mundane moments in the suburbs of Tokyo. Hara utilizes a classic film camera to unassumingly approach her subjects at close range. Speaking on her work, Hara says, “There is no set theme; I'm not trying to communicate a particular message. Instead I gamble on serendipity. I hope that each snapshot will stir some fragment of memory within every viewer, arousing complex feelings and emotions that can't be easily put into words.”
Making photographs by impulse rather than intention, Hara achieves uniquely instantaneous characterizations of her surroundings. Studies of single individuals in telling moments remain Hara’s strength: a young girl rolling a small ball over a concrete floor, a train conductor looking away as passengers pass by, a child lying on his stomach on the ground. These figures appear utterly lonely in their square spaces as if lone people on this planet. Sometimes Hara portrays confined spaces like her own family room or a station waiting room simply to direct extraordinary focus on ordinary activities — eating, dressing, reading, etc. Non-human subjects, from pale-pink lilies to monochromatic abstract landscapes, add mood and dimension.
Hara’s quietly provocative and sarcastic portrayals of urban inhabitants and landscapes are not mere social commentary, but instead reveal the kind of deep philosophical examination of human life often observed by novelists and filmmakers. By not using her viewfinder she avoids premeditated composition, and by applying a slow shutter-speed to her fast-moving subjects, she creates a split-second lag between sight and recording, giving her work an unmistakable frisson of the unexpected.
Born 1967 in Japan, Mikiko Hara studied art history at university in Tokyo and immersed herself in experimental theatre as an actor. Soon after graduation, she quit her first office job and enrolled in the Tokyo College of Photography. Inspired by Gary Winogrand, Hara explored black and white snapshots and gradually developed her own personal style in color snapshots. In 1999, she was included in “Private Room II,“ the groundbreaking museum show featuring ten female photographers who defined the rise of woman photographers in Japan in the 1990s. Since then, her work has been shown internationally and is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. In 2017, Hara won the prestigious Kimura Ihei Photography Award.This fall, Hara concurrently holds a large-scale solo presentation at both the Yokohama Civic Art Gallery and at her former school of photography, which is celebrating its 60thanniversary and its ties to Bauhaus. Hara’s work will also be at the UNSEEN PHOTO FAIR in Amsterdam with MIYAKO YOSHINAGA.
“In storytelling, matter is neither created nor destroyed. It is only infinitely reorganized.”
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present (decrypted) micro-myths, a solo exhibition of installation, drawing, and mixed media works by New York-based artist Joseph Burwell, from June 20 to July 27, 2019. This is Burwell’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The opening reception will be held Thursday, June 20, 6-8PM. Gallery hours are from Tuesday through Saturday 11AM-6PM.
Joseph Burwell’s multi-faceted presentations combine precise architectural elements with two-dimensional renderings, signs, and objects, displayed throughout the fragmented space in unconventional ways. There is no single ideal vantage point, but rather, we gain clues to the undercurrents of the work by circling its sculptural elements or peering through cut-outs that frame an opposite setting. The artist’s background in architecture echoes in his dexterous use of industrial materials and sharply rendered interiors, and while the work proposes settings that could be inhabited, those settings are also seemingly illogical, populated by objects that take the place of human characters.
In this day, the sheer volume of information at our fingertips has triggered an endless need to know, to investigate, and to share our findings. In this obsessive consumption of information, the authority of our own knowledge can be undermined as our attention is pulled in scattered directions. In the midst of this blurring of fact and fantasy, “we see a regression back to the authority of storytelling – a desire for meaning instead of facts, but with a new cognizance that meaning is constructed, not prescribed.”
Perhaps the role of the narrative, however fabricated or fictional, has always been to give meaning to that which escapes logic. Burwell’s process uses material exploration to propose myths, often repurposing existing narratives into “new unauthorized forms of storytelling” while building out physical incarnations of the digital experiences that are so pervasive in our current lives.
“It’s easy to let the digital stream wash over you; easy to get addicted; easy too, to drown in it. What takes imagination is to do what Burwell has done: lay down a few stepping stones, slippery though they may be, across the current.” -Glenn Adamson, curator and writer
Born in Iceland in 1970 and raised in southwestern Virginia, Joseph Burwell lives and works in the Bronx, New York. After beginning his studies in Architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design, Burwell changed pursuits and receivedhis Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1993. He obtained an MFA in Sculpture from Tulane University in 1999 and recently earned an MFA in Painting from Hunter College in 2019. In 2011, Joseph was a NYFA fellow in Drawing/ Printmaking/Book Arts. He has participated in residencies throughout the US and has taught at Tulane University, Loyola University, Country Day Creative Arts, New Orleans School of GlassWorks & Printmaking Studio, and Penland School of Crafts. He has shown his work in Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Egypt, Canada, South Korea, and New York, including solo exhibitions at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery in 2009 and 2013.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA GALLERY is pleased to present its 20th Anniversary Show – Part II. Opened in May 1999 under the name M.Y. Art Prospects, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA shares a unique slice of history with the New York City art gallery scene. From its inception, the gallery has embraced a diverse group of international artists and an eclectic range of styles, promoting innovative ideas and giving voice to vital but often underrepresented personal, social and cultural issues through art. In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for example, the gallery featured an exhibition by artists from the Middle East. In 2003, it showcased largely unknown works by a group of young Cuban artists. And its most recent exhibition honored the repressed Uyghur ethnic minority in China.
Following Part I (Photography), Part II of the anniversary show reflects the gallery’s uncompromising commitment to supporting artists who question conventional worldviews and adeptly invent their own transcendent visions. The show features an assembly of 25 artists working in painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media, displaying their diverse cultural and visual languages that nevertheless resonate with each other in the universality of art. The presentation will include both new works and highlights from past exhibitions at the gallery.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA’s 20th Anniversary Show not only revisits the past twenty years but also seeks to offer new insights into the works and their creators. Among the featured artists, four have since passed away, but their legacy continues in their work. For other artists who have since moved on to new inspirations and/or styles, the works in this show might provide a new perspective into their recent pursuits. Above all, the gallery sincerely hopes this exhibition will spark a new dialogue among artists and audiences alike.
The exhibition will include a critical appreciation by Midori Yamamura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the CUNY Kingsborough and the author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press: 2015), who specializes in post-WWII Asian and Asian Diaspora art. MIYAKO YOSHINAGA would like to thank Dr. Yamamura as well as all the participating artists and their associates who have offered tremendous support in realizing this milestone exhibition.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA GALLERY is pleased to present its 20th Anniversary Show –Part I (Photography), from March 21 to April 27, 2019. The opening reception on Saturday, April 6, 4-6pm, shares the same weekend with the AIPAD Photography Show, the city's largest photography fair. 20thAnniversary Show – Part II will be held from May 2 to June 8, 2019.
Opened in May 1999 under the name of M.Y. Art Prospects, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA shares a unique slice of history with the New York City art gallery scene. From its inception, the gallery has embraced a diverse group of international artists and an eclectic range of styles, promoting innovative ideas and providing a venue to give voice to specific personal, social and cultural issues through art. In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for example, the gallery featured an exhibition by artists from the Middle East. In 2003, it showcased largely unknown works by a group of young Cuban artists. And its most recent exhibition honored the repressed Uyghur ethnic minority in China.
Beginning around 2004, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA shifted its focus to photography, a medium that has always been a significant part of its programs. In 2013, the gallery teamed up with other art dealers and experts to launch the first of several career-survey exhibitions showcasing pioneering Japanese and Korean photographers, including Eiko Hosoe, Issei Suda, Kazuo Kitai, Joo Myung Duck, and Ken Ohara. These scholarly and commercially successful exhibitions resulted in extraordinary recognition for the artists and the gallery.
This 20th anniversary group exhibition celebrates both the gallery's independent spirit and its growing reputation as a stronghold for the medium of photography. The exhibition will present works by 25 photography-based artists with whom the gallery has worked over the last two decades. Their works exemplify each generation’s push of the boundaries of the photographic medium.
The exhibition not only revisits the past twenty years but also seeks to offer new insights into the works and their creators. Among the featured artists, four have since passed away, but their legacy continues in their work. For the other artists who have since moved on to new inspirations and/or styles, the works in this show may help to understand their subsequent projects. The gallery sincerely hopes this exhibition will spark a new dialogue among artists and audiences alike.
This exhibition will also include a text by Midori Yamamura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the CUNY Kingsborough and the author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press: 2015), who specializes in post-WWII Asian and Asian Diaspora art.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present I Can’t Sleep: Homage to a Uyghur Homeland, an installation of large format photographs by Lisa Ross, from January 17 – March 16, 2019. This is Ross’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The opening reception will be held Thursday, January 17, 6-8PM, where the New York-based artist will be present. Gallery hours are from Tuesday through Saturday 11AM-6PM.
Women and children – posturing, gazing, playing on bed frames – become “coincidental subjects,” their vivid garments sharply accentuated against the muted earth tones of the vast Taklamakan Desert. This far west region of China (Xinjiang), home to the Uyghur people, is a place Lisa Ross has imaged and imagined for over 15 years. Recently, the Chinese state has amplified its efforts to forcibly assimilate minority populations, imbuing the artist with a sense of urgency to display these pictures.
Behind the photographs, Ross has created a printed backdrop with monochromatic imagery of close friend and renowned anthropologist Rahile Dawut, whose recent disappearance speaks to an increasingly precarious existence. Uyghur culture is often exoticized by the Chinese state for their vibrant oasis-centered lifestyle. Ross’s installation juxtaposes these bed-framed portraits with the shadow of her friend, simultaneously evoking the freedom of sleeping under the stars and that of muted suffocation. As a Uyghur commentator writes, “In this exhibition, the artist presented herself with a challenge: to reflect atrocity by narrating a peaceful everyday existence. The contrasting but supplemental dynamics between the colorless and colorful is a creative process of re-interpreting and communicating these images at a time of desperation.”
This exhibition will feature several innovative collateral programs with Lisa Ross and collaborative partner Mukaddas Mijit, a Uyghur dancer, filmmaker, and anthropologist.
Discussion with Lisa Ross and Mukaddas Mijit
Sunday, January 13, 4:00-5:30PM, at Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Performative Intervention by Mukaddas Mijit, with music by Anthony Varalli
Thursday, January 17 – Saturday, January 19, every hour, on the hour (11AM-6PM) at the gallery
This work will be developed during a residency at The Watermill Center – a laboratory for performance.
I Can’t Sleep: Homage to a Uyghur Homeland includes accompanying texts by an anonymous contributor and Beth Citron, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum of Art. Both texts are available upon request. The collateral programs are supported by Asian Cultural Council, Asia Art Archive in America, and The Watermill Center – a laboratory for performance.
Lisa Ross is a New York-based artist. She received an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. She has exhibited in the U.S., Europe, and Asia including the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; Fotografiska Museum, Sweden; Rencontres D’Arles Foto Festival, and La Vielle Charite, France; Tianshui Biennale, China, University of London, SOAS, Brunei Gallery, UK; UC Berkeley and Harvard University, USA. Ross has taught at Parsons School of Design and Columbia University, and pioneered a photo program for LGBT and homeless youth in NYC. She has worked on photography projects in North Africa, Central Asia, China, Europe and Azerbaijan. Ross received a Hayward Prize through the American Austrian Foundation, is 2016 grantee of Asian Cultural Council, was a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Watermill Center, and a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at View Art Gallery, Lanzhou, China.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present The eye is not satisfied with seeing, a solo exhibition of mixed media collage works by Hai Zhang, from November 1 to December 8, 2018. This is Zhang’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The opening reception will be held Thursday, November 1, 6-8PM. The New York-based artist will be present. Gallery hours are from Tuesday through Saturday 11AM-6PM.
The romantic picture of America is often at odds with the jarring reality of living within its complex workings, a rift especially pronounced for Hai Zhang. At the age of 24, Zhang departed his home country of China and arrived at a small town in Alabama in 2000, the start of a connective thread that would drive his pursuits as he periodically traversed the South, Midwest and West. After nearly two decades spent living in both urban and rural locations in the U.S., his vision of America as a symbol “has transformed into unsettling curiosity and suspicion.” With a diverse repertoire of experience that includes a past career in architecture and years of work in photojournalism, he understands that the subject is never isolated from its surrounding context. There is always more to the photograph than what is depicted within the image, more questions than answers.
Zhang’s collages are reflective of this complexity, splicing together photographs (both altered and unaltered), strips of tape, paint, and stitching. The works often contain multiple vantage points of a single location or person, though the original images themselves are separated by intervals of several years. Figures reappear, age, and disappear throughout the entirety of the series, an echo of the relationships the artist has cultivated within these communities. Zhang states, “Two aspects of photography are essential to me – what leads to the action of taking photographs; and what the photographs lead to. While the photographs are dutifully bearing the witness of the moments, to me, the process of taking photos gives me a pass to directly observe and participate in the events.” The images become raw material, and by revisiting them, the artist is able to reinterpret those experiences in the form of collages or intricately bound artist books that propose new open-ended conversations.
What emerges in these works is a world often left out of the narratives projected by metrocentric media. An isolated row of mailboxes in the middle of the Southwest’s arid deserts doesn’t aspire to the frenetic dialogue of a cosmopolitan hub. For the artist, seeing is only the first act. To stop there is to remain under-informed of a region’s true character.
Born in 1976 in Kunming, China, Hai Zhang lives and works in New York City. Since relocating to the U.S. in 2000, he has resided in Alabama, Miami, Washington, DC, and New York. He has exhibited in North America, Asia, and Europe, including a solo exhibition, Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost, at Galerie Voies Off, Arles, France, which was part of the yearlong 2013 European Capital of Culture Marseille-Provence Program. He was also nominated for Deutsche Borse Photography 2014, which recognized artists who made notable contributions to photography in 2013. In addition to traveling extensively throughout China and the U.S. for his photography projects, he has also made trips to Costa Rica, Russia, and Southeast Asia to pursue his work.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Trade Winds, a solo exhibition of photographic works by Yojiro Imasaka, from September 13 to October 20, 2018. This is his third solo exhibition at the gallery. The opening reception will be held Thursday, September 13, from 6-8pm. The New York-based artist will be present.
Unfolding over the course of several stays on the island of O‘ahu, Yojiro Imasaka’s newest series, Trade Winds, captures a vision of Hawai‘i far removed from its postcard-perfect beaches. His photographs instead transport us to a pristine and seemingly untouched landscape, where the crispness of each leaf, frond, and branch is punctuated by moments of blurry focus, a result of the wind that inhabits the forest. These “trade winds” gently course through every corner of the island and drive its climate for the majority of the year – temperature, air quality, even ocean currents abide by their presence or absence. Imasaka reflects: “When I visit Hawai‘i and observe the coexistence of human development and everlasting nature, I start to wonder how the winds shaped the very islands and their history. I venture deeper and deeper into nature, searching for the original landscape of this land. Every time the wind touches me, my mind drifts with it back in time. Using my large format film camera and a slow shutter speed, I seek to capture the wind that has shaped the entire history of the island of O‘ahu.”
The natural environment in Imasaka’s work is nearly absent of the human footprint, with only the occasional glimpse of a dirt path and a few distinguishable varieties of flora marking any evidence of intervention (the coconut palm is not native to Hawai‘i, but it appears among the foliage). These subtle moments reveal the brevity of human memory set against a landscape in constant motion and incremental change.
Imasaka’s process is marked by a distance, both geographical and chronological, that fills the space between the moment the image is captured in film and the moment that image is revealed in the darkroom. For the artist, the darkroom process is “meditative,” forcing him to slow down his own pace of work to engage with the imagery he is unearthing. His alterations of color and saturation are a means of rekindling the elusive memory of a place. The recent chain of volcanic events on Hawai‘i Island echoes the artist’s sentiment: “Recently, while in my darkroom in New York City, I heard the news that a volcanic eruption in Hawai‘i had forced people to evacuate…I uttered to myself “History repeats itself”. Humankind and our existence account for so short a moment in natural history. It was here long before us, and it will be here long after us. And then I came to wonder: these photographs that I’m looking at right now, are they of the past, present, or future?”
From July 12 to August 4, 2018, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present a summer group show entitled How Many Miles to Babylon? An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 12, 6-8PM.
Although far from perfect, humans possess the immense ability to adapt physically and psychologically when confronted with injury, illness, dysfunction, and trauma. This exhibition features eight photographers who ponder such adverse fate and find inspiration in the fundamental desire for recovery and survival that is often accompanied by irreversible wounds - both visible and invisible.
How many miles to Babylon? Three score miles and ten. Can I get there by candle-light? Yes, and back again. If your heels are nimble and your toes are light, You may get there by candle-light.
Taking its title from an old English nursery rhyme, the exhibition alludes to the arduous journey of daily survival in which pain and fear are often not immediately visible but neither secretive or denied. The participating artists are Emi Anrakuji, Rose Farrell & George Parkin, Hitoshi Fugo, Graciela Iturbide, Mari Katayama, Mayumi Lake, Natasha Phillips and Lisa Ross.
In her candid portraits of friends living with HIV - Caleb and Chris, Natasha Phillips dissolves the stigma associated with the disease into calm, tender moments. She captures Caleb playing dress up with costumes he made, and Chris, a standup comedian in NY, lovingly posing with his mother at an HIV awareness event. Graciela Iturbide’s Casa de Frida Kahlo explores Frida Kahlo’s home and personal objects in Mexico. The image of white bedsheets embroidered with the initials “F.K.” against the blue sky conveys the surrealist painter’s vibrant lifestyle despite the various health tragedies she experienced.
Kahlo’s plight echoes that of Mari Katayama, whose legs were amputated at the age of nine. Today she produces provocative self-portraits and enigmatic sculptures. In You're mine #002 she depicts herself posed, doll-like, surrounded by feminine objects against a white backdrop, all the while casting a fiercely raw human gaze. Another artist who photographs her own body is Emi Anrakuji, whose HMMT? series is deeply informed by her recovery from a decade-long cerebral illness. The image of her wearing a bandage-like white mask with a hole through which she breathes may imply a restless feeling that vacillates between the desires to retreat and be liberated from protection.
No other contemporary artists explore the fascinating history of medical practice more methodologically than Rose Farrell & George Parkin. In the series A Thousand Golden Remedies they decode the mystique associated with traditional Chinese medicine through carefully arranged body parts (of their own) and herbs found on the streets of Beijing. Farrell, who was a professional nurse, and Parkin both tragically died of cancer in their early 60s.
Hitoshi Fugo’s black-and-white photograph On the Circle 40 captures his daughter, who suffers from Poliomyelitis, lying on an asphalt ground. Her stiff and starkly white limbs juxtapose with scattered pieces of wood on the same asphalt ground in On the Circle 09, exposing the structural metaphor between the two.
Like Fugo, Mayumi Lake explores a mundane place and objects for her visionary work It’s Alright, in which white parasols are lined up in a lush field brightly lit by a dramatic, cloud-filled sky. The image conveys a sense of hope within the devastation of life after the 2011 earthquake and nuclear meltdown in Japan. In her series After Night, Lisa Ross photographs beds abandoned in the middle of cotton fields in Uyghur, rural China. The beds are used by villagers to sleep in during the hot, grueling harvesting season. In Green Dress, Green Bed, a young girl stands on top of a bed holding her head down into her palms, crying. The scene, set against a harsh, vast natural landscape echoes the universal human need for rest, healing, and recovering, regardless of where and how we live.
Emi ANRAKUJI *(b. 1963) lives in Tokyo, Japan. She is a photography artist whose intimate self-portraits are defined by Eros (life) and Thanatos (death) and a catalyst for fears and desires. Her work has been exhibited extensively across the U.S., Japan, Korea, the U. K., Spain, and France. A Higashikawa New Photography Prize winner, Anrakuji participated in the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea and PHotoEspaña in Spain.
Rose FARREL* (1949-2015) and George PARKIN *(1949-2012) were the leading contemporary photography artists in Australia. Their collaboration explored the history of medicine through the application of complex theatrical scenery using large format photography. They internationally participated in many museum/gallery programs in locations including Australia, Europe, China, the US, and Canada.
Hitoshi FUGO * (b. 1947) is based in Tokyo and has exhibited in Japan, China, France, Germany, Austria, and the US. His work negotiates existing orders and relationships between his subjects and locations both physically and psychologically. His well-known series “Flying Frying Pan” is represented in the collections of Los Angels County Museum of Art, Henry Art Gallery, and Museum of Photographic Art.
Graciela ITURBIDE (b. 1942) is a Mexican photographer widely recognized for her photographic depictions of Mexican culture in which the ancient traditions of the country meet contemporary urban lifestyles. In 2005, Iturbide was asked to photograph Frida Kahlo’s private rooms that had never been opened to the public since Frida’s death in 1954. The photographs taken during this project has created the Casa de Frida Kahlo series.
Mari KATAYAMA (b. 1987) is an up-and-coming artist in Japan. Born with tibial hemimelia, she chose to have her legs amputated at the age of nine. She creates self-portraits elaborately staged in her own room filled with her hand-sewed sculpture and other decorative objects. Katayama’s work in Roppongi Crossing 2016, a popular survey show of Japanese contemporary art at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, caused a sensation. She also sings, models, acts, as well as writes and lectures.
Mayumi LAKE *(b. 1964) is a Chicago-based artist. Her photography and video work delve into childhood and pubescent dreams, phobias and desires. She employs herself and others as her models, and uses dolls, toys, weapons, vintage clothes, and altered landscape as her props. Lake’s work has been exhibited at national and international venues including MIT List Visual Arts Center (Cambridge), Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), Art In General (New York), and Asia Society (New York).
Natasha PHILLIPS is a documentary and fine art photographer originally from Sydney, Australia. Her work is inspired by the transience and fragility of the human condition. She draws inspiration through the experience of travel and new environments and was drawn to documentary photography as a way of storytelling through personal vision. Since 2009 Philips has been based in New York and Sydney where she works commercially as a photographer, photo editor and writer.
Lisa ROSS (b. 1964) is a photographer, video artist and educator in New York. She investigates physical manifestations of faith with journeys to the Sahara, the Sinai and the Taklamakan Desert. Her work has been exhibited at numerous U.S. and European galleries and institutions including University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley), Rubin Museum of Art (New York), and Fotografiska Museum (Stockholm).
* Artists Represented by MIYAKO YOSHINAGA
From May 31 to July 7, 2018, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Just Love, a solo exhibition of the award-winning Tokyo-based photographer Emi Anrakuji. This will be her sixth solo exhibition at the gallery. The opening reception will be held Thursday, May 31 from 6-8pm. The artist will be present.
In her tour-de-force cinematic black-and-white photographs, Anrakuji deploys her own body as a critical tool to establish her singular style. Her half-clothed or naked body performs various mundane acts in a claustrophobic and high-contrast setting. Her work evokes alluring daydream abstractions through an intentional lack of depth and context.
The exhibition Just Love showcases Anrakuji’s latest 27 photographs in her signature intimate scale. The series begins with her rising from bed, flirtatiously trying on clothes, collapsing onto the floor, and stepping over the edge of a bathtub. The images of her body within a confined space symbolize the limited mobility she experienced due to a serious illness more than a decade ago. In one image, she pushes her hands and feet against a flight of stairs like a worm crawling out of its hole. She eventually makes her way to a balcony where she soaks up the sun and joyfully dances with her own shadow. The shadows in the photographs literally spell out “JUST LOVE.”
Blurring the boundaries between art and life, Anrakuji’s emotionally complex work is rooted in her life events. The title, Just Love, is an ode to her new life after long suffering, a rebirth that Anrakuji describes as filled with “love.” The love she freezes onto her frames manifests in myriad forms including grief and pain. As she writes, “Stepping away from my 6-foot universe into a world full of light with shadows becoming increasingly darker, I feel a bit dizzy yet also at ease. Here and now, I dance with the light, at one point cradling the carcass of my cat and crying uncontrollably, I imprint the expression of my life titled Just Love. Love continuously washes away the dirt in my heart. Simply, plainly, all there needs to be is ‘love.’”
Just Love is the personal yet universal story of one living being’s journey of regaining a spirit of hope and desire.
Emi Anrakuji (b. 1963) lives in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied oil painting at Musashino University of Art and Music. In the late 80s she was diagnosed with cerebral cancer which caused a severe degradation of her eyesight forcing her to quit painting. During this period, she taught herself photography using the camera lens as a replacement for her eyes. Since 2001 her work has been exhibited extensively across the United States, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. A Higashikawa New Photograph Prize winner in 2006, Anrakuji participated in the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea in 2008 and PHotoEspaña in 2017. Her work has been featured in several notable publications including FOAM, The New Yorker, and IMA. She has also published five monographs—HMMT? (2005) from Yu-Time Shuppan, Anrakuji (2006), e-hagaki (2006), and IPY (2008) from Nazraeli Press, and MISHO (2017) from SHINTO editions.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present UNISON, a solo exhibition of sculptural photographic works by Mayumi Lake, from April 19 to May 25, 2018. This is her sixth solo exhibition at the gallery and her first in four years. The opening reception will be held Thursday, April 19, from 6-8pm. The Chicago-based artist will be present.
In the spring of 2011, Lake was feeling overwhelmed after the triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant meltdowns) hit her homeland Japan. Three years later, her compelling photo series Latent Heat was born, featuring dark landscapes and alienated human figures to express ominous feelings of tragic endings such as death.
In this exhibition, Lake offers a refreshing counterpoint to her previous work by creating a room installation where ten imposing “blossom” sculptures are illuminated by a mirror ball. The blossoms are constructed of images scanned from Japanese vintage kimonos for young girls. Lake prints and cuts the floral patterns, reassembling them with toy parts, plastic flowers, imitation gold, sequins, and various other objects, all by hand. As in her usual practice, Lake selects only the materials that recall her own childhood palpably.
The flowers depicted in the girls’ kimono are based on motifs from housouge, the mythic heavenly flowers, originated in Tang Dynasty China, rather than on real flowers. Lake’s “blossoms” threaded throughout the exhibition represent a vision of bardo in Tibetan Buddhism, where the soul floats between life after death, a state similar to the Western idea of purgatory. This in-between state echoes her own existence - a cultural hybrid somewhere between East and West.
Lake states: “The use of the kimono goes beyond being just a reference to my cultural heritage, it signifies a dying cultural tradition as the use of this traditional garb has all but disappeared and is relegated to a symbolic gesture reserved for special and rare occasions. Choice of objects and toys are also direct references to my own childhood, which was saturated with objects that directly referenced American pop culture. Elements of the two opposing cultures are intertwined creating a strained and unique harmony that is illuminated through the constructed blossoms.”
Mayumi Lake studied photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Since 1997, Lake’s work has been exhibited at national and international venues including MIT List Visual Arts Center, Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), Art In General, Asia Society, and Museum of Sex (New York). Her work is in the permanent collections at various institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Asia Society, and Joy of Giving Something Foundation. Nazraeli Press published two monographs by Lake (Poo-Chi, Ex Post Facto). In 2008, international photography magazine EYEMAZING featured her Ex Post Facto series. She lives and works in Chicago.
This exhibition has been made possible with grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Faculty Enrichment grant from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present our second solo exhibition of the prominent Japanese photographer Hitoshi Fugo. The exhibition, BLACKOUT, will be on view from March 8 to April 14, 2018. Following the success of Flying Frying Pan, our previous Fugo exhibition in 2016, the BLACKOUT series will be the first showing of these works since the early 1980s and the first time ever outside of Japan. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 8 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The artist will be present.
The exhibition features approximately thirty black-and-white gelatin silver prints out of the eighty that make up the BLACKOUT series. Spanning from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, the series captures the subtle moments of the everyday passage of time — sprinklers watering an empty lawn, a paddle breaking the surface of water, flies fluttering around a bright light bulb, and sunlight illuminating part of a woman’s face. The series defies easy categorization as photo documentary or street photography. Instead, it is an accumulation of people, landscapes, and objects revealing the dynamic relationship between our mortal bodies and the unceasingly changing world.
The artist’s uniquely dark and abstract vision traces back to his childhood memory of severe asthma attacks. Recalling the sensation of blacking out while gasping for air, he writes; “I became aware through such experiences that the world, myself included, is constantly transforming.” He compares this experience to the moment he presses the camera shutter. Fugo doubts the notion that photography captures reality exactly as seen through the photographer’s eye. Instead he believes the photographer only sees the darkness of the closing shutter. Even during that millisecond as the image is frozen into a photograph, the world continues to change.
The title BLACKOUT alludes to the dramatic moment when a stage light shuts off. Fugo’s work takes us on a journey of universally experienced transitory moments that might exist anywhere at any point. In the accompanying exhibition essay, Dr. Phillip Charrier concludes that Fugo’s images are “radically disconnected from their subjects as conventionally understood, as transformations of the objects, people, insects, and surfaces that caught his eye, strange apparitions that, collectively, constitute a kind of photo-poem of recovered memories and remembered trauma.”
Hitoshi Fugo (b. 1947, Kanagawa, Japan) is a winner of Ina Nobuo Photography Award in 2010. He studied photography at Nihon University in Tokyo. In 1970 upon graduating he worked for Eiko Hosoe, the internationally known master photographer. In 1973, he became a freelance photographer based in New York and Paris. During the 1970s and 1980s, he traveled extensively and created many series including BLACKOUT, which he first exhibited in Tokyo in 1982 under the title Dark Changes. His other work includes Flying Frying Pan (1974-1994), a black and white series capturing many aspects of the surface of a frying pan, Game Over (1980-1991), a series inspired by the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, On the Circle (2003-2011) and Waterfall Watchers (1994). Last year he exhibited his newest project, Body and Horizontal Bar (2003-2015) in Tokyo and Fukuoka. Fugo’s work has had international exposure in exhibitions such as Japanese Photography Today (Spain, 1986) and Japanese Contemporary Photography (Germany, 2000). The photo book of the BLACKOUT series will be published Fall 2018 by L’Artiere, an Italian publishing house working with many important international photographers. A small booklet of Fugo’s BLACKOUT series with an essay by Dr. Philip Charrier (University of Regina, Canada) is available at the gallery.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of the Ecuadorian-American artist, Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira. The exhibition, In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird, is on view from January 11, 2018 to February 17, 2018. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 11 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Artist will be present.
In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird features a series of photographs taken by Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira in the Andean mountains of Ecuador. Miranda-Rivadeneira explores the relationships between humans and nature through factual and fictional narratives inviting us into a fantastical world. In recalling her trip to Ecuador, the artist remarks, "The spirit of the mountains reminded me not to take photographs, the instances I capture presented themselves, and my task is to ask permission to borrow them." Her background in painting and more recently in photojournalism help inform her photography of the intriguing cultural tapestry of the region.
The photographs guide us through the land of what the locals call “the mouth of the mountain jaguar.” Miranda-Rivadeneira beautifully captures the nuance and the subtleties of the everyday life and the people she encountered while also illuminating their unique traditions, rituals, and the mysticism of the natural world. She takes us from the mountain peaks where a Pre-Incan spiritual marriage between an elderly female healer and a young male leader is taking place, to a colorful carnival festival and a humble quiet house.
This exhibition also features six collaborative works by Miranda-Rivadeneira and a local painter and farmer Julio Toaquiza. Toaquiza superimposes meticulously rendered images over Miranda-Rivadeneira's landscapes. For example, in The Medicine Man with his Guides, Toaquiza depicts a traditional medicine man surrounded by owls, eagles, and alpacas against the backdrop a grassy plateau photographed by Miranda-Rivadeneira. The vitality and power of the two artists’ visions unexpectedly integrate in these works.
As in the artist’s own words, “The mouth of the mountain jaguar is the entrance to the vertebrae of this land, it is the collective and sensorial body and once you are on it, there is nothing else but to dance like a hummingbird.”
Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira (Born in New York City, 1983) was raised in both the United States and Ecuador. Her work as a photographer has been exhibited on four different continents. Institutions include the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum, the United Nations, and the Photographic Museum of Humanity, among others. Miranda-Rivadeneira’s work is featured in multiple collections internationally from Milan, Italy to Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has been an artist in residence in the United States, France, and Italy and has served as a visiting professor at the California Institute of the Arts and as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. Miranda-Rivadeneira has received multiple awards and fellowships for her work, most recently as an artist at the 3rd Latin American Forum, Sao Paulo in 2014 and as a selected participant for the New York Times first review. Notably, she received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2010 among other distinctions. She earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and holds a post-graduate degree for her studies in photography at the Danish School of Journalism.
In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird was produced with the support of the musée du qui Branly- Jacques Chirac.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its 5th solo exhibition of Cleverson Oliveira, the Brazilian contemporary artist. The exhibition, Rainy Days, will be on view from November 30, 2017, to January 6, 2018. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 30 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Artist will be present. On November 18, 2017, Oliveira will release a new publication in conjunction with his exhibit, Beyond the Surface, opening at the Museo Oscar Neimeyer in Brazil. A book signing at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is scheduled for December. More information to come.
Rainy Days explores the line between reality and illusion. At first glance, the works appear to be monochromatic photographs of rain, but a second look reveals them to be drawings filled with subtle intricacies. The exhibit challenges traditional representations of nature by using Oliveira’s memories, inventiveness, and imaginary landscapes that give the impression of reality.
Raindrops trail across the series of images. They pour down the front of drawings, blurring out the world behind them. Other pieces exist in a dream-like landscape with up close, shadowy plant life curving across the page, as raindrops hug a border, not depicted. Graphite powder, pencil, and permanent marker, on paper and canvas, are used to realize Cleverson’s imagined cityscapes and landscapes. The simplicity of the materials suits the playful innocence of the series.
The piece Empire, in particular, demonstrates this by showing a drawing of the Empire State Building with raindrops drawn overtop the entire image. The building is modeled off of its appearance in an Andy Warhol film by the same name. Oliveira combines the whimsical impressions of raindrops with a process he describes as “the disfiguration of representation” in which he creates an image that appears to be studied from the natural world but is actually constructed in part from memory and imagination. The raindrops aid this tongue in cheek ode to landscapes by simultaneously being too close and cartoonish to be believed and also triggering memories of viewing rainy days through a window.
Cleverson Oliveira (born 1972, Brazil) studied sculpture at the Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná. He has solo exhibitions at Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Paraná, Museu Joaquim Nabuco, Museu de Fotografia Solar do Barao, and has participated in a number of group exhibitions in the United States and Brazil. His work was also shown at Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Pãulo. Oliveira is represented in prominent collections internationally, including Ruth Kaufmann Collection, Sylvia Martins Collection, Brazil Foundation Art Collection, Fundação Cultural de Curitiba Collection, and Guita Soiffer Art Collection. Oliveira’s past solo exhibitions with Miyako Yoshinaga were “Galáxias” (2012), “Frontiers: A Journey through the Americas” (2006), “Golden Years” (2004), and “Cleverlandia” (2002). He currently lives and works in Curitiba, Brazil.
Oliveira has participated in various art exhibitions including venues in New York, Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and Doha and Venice, Italy. In 1996 he studied Art History at New York University, in New York, where he lived from 1996 to 2008.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of Mikiko Hara, her second New York exhibition since 2007. Based on Hara's recent book Change, (her photographs with a short story by Stephen Dixon), the exhibition features twenty color photographs spanning over a decade from 1996 to 2009. The exhibition In the Blink of an Eye, organized in association with OSIRIS, Tokyo, will be on view from September 14 to October 21, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 14 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The exhibition catalog features an essay by Russet Lederman, a co-editor of Change.
Hara's square color snapshots involve no noticeable high drama. Her portraits - men and women, adults, adolescents, and children - are often alone hovering in the bay of everydayness: a schoolgirl at a train platform, mother and daughter asleep in a subway car, a middle-aged woman sternly looking off-camera. Although these scenes were shot in Tokyo and its suburbs, the settings and activities have an ambiguous quality, the images evoke emotion and mood through nuanced facial expressions and body language. Hara's landscapes and still-lifes complement her portraits in an even more nonchalant style. They reflect the artist's practice of accumulating fleeting moments in daily life. The 50-year-old Hara recently received Japan's prestigious Ihei Kimura Photography Award for her rare ability to capture seemingly insignificant moments in life and let them speak for themselves with subtle but layered meaning.
One of Hara’s technical characteristics is a habit of not using her camera’s viewfinder, partly because the camera she uses was manufactured in the 1930s and does not serve the purpose well mechanically. But she turns this to her advantage by allowing her to casually and boldly approach her subjects with empathy, while avoiding being influenced by a premeditated vision. Hara explains that she tries to grasp "empty" moments in the blink of an eye before they form any meaning. As a result, the people and places in her work seem free from geographical and historical reference. They are somewhere as well as nowhere, they are both at a particular moment and any moment. These paradoxically intriguing images are printed from color negatives made with a classic black-and-white camera, adding a distinctively soft tonality and texture.
Born 1967 in Toyama Prefecture in Japan, Mikiko Hara graduated from Keio University where she studied art theory and art history. She went on to study photography under Kiyoshi Suzuki, a well-known photographer, at Tokyo College of Photography for four more years. There, she learned and practiced "street snapshots," first in black-and-white then and in color, influenced by both Japanese and international photographers, particularly Garry Winogrand. Since 1996, she has held a number of solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka, and New York, and she has participated in important museum group exhibitions in Japan, France, The Netherlands, Germany, China, Demark, and USA. Her work is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art among others. Hara is this year's winner of the 42nd Kimura Ihei Photography Award.
From July 13 to August 11, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its summer exhibition of works by Nils Karsten. The exhibition Here Are The Keys II is organized in collaboration with mhPROJECTnyc. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 13 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The exhibition features both daring and delicate works on paper including woodblock prints, collages, and graphite drawings.
For years Nils Karsten has been gathering various images from printed materials as well as personal and found photographs. He particularly enjoys culling from ephemera such as flyers, posters, newspapers and zines. Karsten carefully stores and studies his source materials, and processes these images until he considers them his own. He freely associates disparate images to create his narratives and finds something new within the old and overlooked. The 70s and 80s political and cultural movements, particularly punk and rock ‘n’ roll music scenes, played a significant role in Karsten’s adolescence in Germany. His figurative art, not only enriched by the remnants of these by-gone eras in the artist’s personal life, but also carefully controlled by the artist’s own structure and organization of the images.
The exhibition highlights three outsize 6 x 6 ft. woodblock prints, the two of which are both iconic and hyper-sexualized images and originally appeared in the 70s. The image of Sticky Fingers is originally the artwork conceived by Andy Warhol for The Rolling Stones album released in 1971. The image of Amorica was taken from a 1976 cover of Hustler magazine, which also the cover image of the 1994 Black Crowes album. Making these prints involves intense manual labors. Karsten rubs paper against table-size plywood into which he carves with dental drills and applies ink. The resulting painterly texture and strong color bring back the provoking energy of original music scenes and its history of the era, still resonating with our contemporary culture.
Other works on paper include Village Voice Grid, a collection of New York-based weekly newspaper’s front-page illustrations, on top of which Karsten playfully superimposes idiosyncratic images and witty words. The work shares graffiti art’s sarcastic social activism. More meditative and surrealistic side of his figurative art is revealed through a series of graphite drawings and “cutout” collages. Delicately and meticulously rendered, they tap into limitless subconscious, the relationship between good and evil and the contradiction that arises in a grotesque world where anything is possible.
Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Nils Karsten moved to New York in 1995. He received his BFA from the School of Visual arts in 1999, and in 2002 participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s residency program. In 2003 Karsten received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Since acquiring his MFA, he has been a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts. His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the United States, as well as in Hong Kong, China Kyoto, Japan, Istanbul, Turkey, Berlin, Germany. His work can be found in numerous private and public collections such as the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Karsten currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present its third solo exhibition of Takahiro Kaneyama, featuring 30 images selected from his ongoing color photography series “While Leaves Are Falling….” The exhibition is on view from June 1 to July 8, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 1, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm.
After a five-year hiatus, Takahiro Kaneyama returns to the gallery with his most personal theme to date. Documenting his own family since 1999, Kaneyama’s unpretentious photographs quietly reveal his complex relationship with home and family as he continues to live abroad. His mother, suffering from schizophrenia, raised him with the aids of his grandmother and his two unmarried aunts. The story he tells with these bravely honest portraits and landscapes resonates both as a personal confession and a meditation on love, depression, and other universal human conditions.
A resident of New York, Kaneyama returns to Japan often and uses his camera as a witness to the time and space he shares with his mother and aunts. After the loss of his grandmother in 1998, they began traveling together, and on these short domestic trips, he photographed the three women unsmiling and motionless against a scenic landscape. While these family portraits may seem to share the surrealistic tone of Shoji Ueda (1913-2000)’s 1950s family portraits, Kaneyama’s vision is clearly darker and more enigmatic. It also weighs heavily on an acute sensitivity to time (as evidenced in the title of the series), and the photos reveal the growing vulnerability of his subjects, their advancing age, and increasingly limited mobility. His mother alone looks dramatically different with and without makeup, with different hairstyles, and with shifting body weight due to the effect of her medications. While the viewer clearly observes her ups and downs over time, her expressionless visage lingers through the whole series. It is this unavoidable truth and the perfect balance of intimacy and distance that elevate Kaneyama’s autobiographical photo documentary into the realm of art.
Born in Tokyo in 1971, Takahiro Kaneyama studied film and photography at the City College of New York, earned an MFA in Photography and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts and then studied documentary photography at the International Center of Photography. The recipient of several photo awards, Kaneyama has exhibited in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, Milwaukee, and Zurich. Last year, he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and also completed an artist-in-residence at Light Work, Syracuse, New York. His new book “While Leaves Are Falling…,” published by AKAAKA also last year, is available through this gallery, as well as the SF MoMA bookstore. The book, accompanied by an essay by Eric Shiner (Senior Vice President of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s) has been nominated for two of the most prestigious Japanese photography awards this year. Later in December, his “While Leaves Are Falling” series will be featured in a group exhibition at the recently renovated Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Dominique Paul “Playing Fields,” the Canadian artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition features Paul’s opulent tableaux utilizing collage, photography, and animation. It will also feature a video documentation of her interactive performance and a related artifact. An opening reception will be held Thursday, April 20, 6-8pm. A gallery talk with the artist and independent curator Ayelet Danielle Aldouby* will take place Thursday, May 11 at 7 pm.
Dominique Paul plays with the representation of the body and explores its transformation. This notion of body transformation informs Paul’s fantastical invention of hybrid creatures. In her Insects of Suriname series, the lacy cutouts of bodybuilder’s flesh from magazines are buoyed by colorful consumer products. The surrealistic scenes share space with flora and insects illustrated by Maria S. Merian, a Baroque-era naturalist documenting metamorphosis of insects. Taking the form of a botanical mandala, Paul strives to express a sense of urgency in the playing fields of our human-centric society that overuses the planet’s resources. In her Escapist series, an extremely hybrid human figure floats in a cosmic background as if she/he is preparing to find another planet to dwell on. Paul boldly envisions a future where the genetic code of living organisms is altered, and a strange new hierarchy among sentient beings emerges.
This exhibition also features Paul’s Increasing Revenue Gap dress as the artist’s own transformed body and its new function. In a video documentation of one of her performances, Interactive Median Income Dress Acting as a Social Interface, she wears another dress that translates the median household income visually as she walks down New York City streets, indicating a gap by colored lights—red for the lowest, blue for the highest income. Along the way Paul casually talks with residents and passersby; thus her dress functions as a social interface in the public space and heightens awareness of inequality.
Dominique Paul (b. 1967) lives and works in New York (USA) and Montreal (Canada) where she received a Doctorate in the Study and Practice of Arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada (2009). Since 2002, she has presented more than 20 solo exhibitions in North America and Europe. In 2012, Paul was awarded an artist-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) on Governors Island. In 2015, she had a residency with Residency Unlimited, New York and made a special performance at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C. In 2017, she has a residency with IDEAS xLab with Ayelet Danielle Aldouby, thanks to The Canada Council for the Arts. Paul has received generous support from Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Longueuil, Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles du Québec, and the Québec Government Office in New York.
From March 2 to April 15, 2017, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Extreme Portraits 1970-1999, featuring approximately 30 gelatin silver prints by California-based Ken Ohara. This exhibition is organized in association with Sarah Lee Projects in Los Angeles. An opening reception will be held March 2, 6-8pm.
Ken Ohara (b. 1942) is known as an innovator who expands the boundaries of photographic portraits to the extent that our familiar perceptions of others and ourselves become precarious. While his work has earned international acclaim through numerous exhibitions and publications, this gallery show marks his solo debut in New York, where his career began five decades ago. The exhibition’s catalog features an essay by Sally Stein, Professor Emeritus at University of California, Irvine.
Since the 1960s, Ohara has been photographing strangers, friends, families, and himself. For each project, Ohara sets up a conceptual procedure, accumulates images in a volume, and presents them in a variety of discrete formats. ONE (1970), his best-known work, emerged as a thick softbound book resembling the Manhattan telephone directory. With no caption or explanatory text, closely framed human faces appear on page after page, 504 anonymous headshots captured on the New York streets. These strangers’ diverse yet uniformly positioned eyes, noses, and mouths challenge our conventional notion of physiognomy.
In 1998 Ohara revisited ONE, creating 52 new 24” by 20” prints from the original negatives. He treated each individual print with great care, emphasizing the details of human skin, piercing eyes, and other intricate facial features. Compared to the earlier prints from the 1970s, these later prints have a darker metallic tone. This exhibition highlights a selection of these reinterpreted ONE prints, as well as the monumental piece Grain (1993), a composite face made of 81 cut photo-sheets.
The exhibition also includes other types of Ohara’s work created between 1972 and 1999. Diary (1972), never before presented to the public, features a daily self-portrait paired with a landscape/figure/still-life shot on the same day over the course of nearly one year. The work, shown as a 2”x 1.5” folded book, reveals personal images often of himself and his wife together. In with (1999), another counterpoint of the ONE series, the portrait is softly lit, loosely composed, and the facial features of the person are mysteriously obscured. In fact, Ohara requested his models (a total of 100 friends, acquaintances, and strangers.) to be exposed to his 4 x 5 camera for exactly 60 minutes; thus, the portrait becomes a shared experience and collaborative work between photographer and subject. Ohara’s innovative photographic practice continues to redefine photography as an enduring vehicle of social visual communication.
Ken Ohara (b. 1942) was born in Tokyo, Japan. After briefly studying photography at Nihon University, Ohara moved to New York City at the age of 20. From 1966 to 1970, he worked as an assistant for Richard Avedon and Hiro. In 1970, his first book ONE earned support from The Museum of Modern Art’s photography curator John Szarkowski. In 1974, His work was featured in “New Japanese Photography,” a groundbreaking survey show at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. From 1974 to 1975 He was a recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and for the following 15 years he worked as a commercial photographer. In the 1990s, Ohara reemerged as an artist and participated in the “Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul,” a 1999/2000 project at Los Angeles Country Museum of Art curated by Robert Sobieszek. In 2006/2007, the retrospective exhibition “Ken Ohara: Extended Portrait Studies” was held at Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany and traveled to two other German museums.
From January 5 to February 18, 2017, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Surface Unrest, a group exhibition featuring works by four emerging/midcareer artists Dana Levy, Taro Masushio, Anh Thuy Nguyen, and Margeaux Walter. The show is curated by Yinzi Yi, an independent curator based in New York and China. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm.
A camera is generally considered as a freezing gun that shoots, congeals, and objectifies the moving world around us. Surface Unrest microwaves and defrosts these photographs in order to unleash the vibrant forces inherent in the trajectory of the images' formation. While most of the time these innate forces are not visible, this exhibition attempts to reveal how they can shatter the photographic medium by intruding, swinging, fracturing, and fidgeting. In this exhibition of work by four artists, human figures take shape first as printed surfaces, and then as bodies transfigured into a video projection, a 3-D lenticular, a folded sheet, and a pigment transfer on stones.
In Dana Levy's Intrusions: A Ghost From The Future (2014), a video of a present-day public space in a historical mansion is projected onto four vintage photographs of the same space once inhabited by Mark Twain, Arturo Toscanini, and other distinguished intellectuals. The juxtaposition of the original rooms and the present space illuminate the layers of space and time. In this theatrical setting, a ghostlike female (the artist herself) appears as an intruder from the future and gradually meets the past by touching the age-old walls, windows, mantles, etc.
Similarly, Margeaux Walter's works set human figures in motion. Acquiescence (2009) and Reflex (2009) are 3-D lenticulars of modular portraits in which the subject (Walter) in an all-white outfit moves uneasily within confined spaces as the viewer walks by. The uniformed figure and cubicle space reflect a post-modern digital culture, and yet, the movement in the photos express the emotional distance generated by technology.
Shun (2013) by Taro Masushio is a photo installation with a half-folded photo sheet suspended from the ceiling. A boy's face, shown only in halves, is candidly captured in his awkward transitional age of adolescence. The viewer cannot have an overall perception of the boy's countenance and loses a sense of orientation as the image swings in the air.
In Anh Thuy Nguyen's work Burden (2015), fragmented photographs of female bodies are transferred onto an arrangement of one hundred stones and presented as a ruin. The psychological and physical pressures women's bodies bear from the male gaze -- objectification, menstruation, childbirth -- are relieved through the abandoned yet preserved qualities of the stones, which are not petrified or dead, but enlivened objects that deliver force.
From October 27 to December 10, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Wraparound, the gallery’s second solo exhibition by Manika Nagare. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm. The artist will be present.
More than five years after the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake struck Fukushima and its surroundings in 2011, Tokyo-based Manika Nagare still continues to explore its aftermath and traumatic effects. Inspired by the nature’s myriad facets, her 10 new oil paintings (four of them forming the set of two large diptychs that are the show’s centerpiece) feature delicately rendered organic lines and carefully glazed and layered colors. They are both inviting and unsettling, as if they are the potentially fearful remnants of destructive force. The artist states: “We humans tend to forget that we are part of nature and hold responsibility for its future. I want the viewer to feel part of the painting, because what’s happening in the painting is not separate from the viewer.”
Although Nagare’s paintings stem from perceivable phenomena in the real world (i.e. heat haze, cicada chirps), they don’t merely display the physical world nor signal a higher truth. They are nature itself. Her dramatic use of unmixed colors such as orange, pink, green or blue brightens each space like fire. Her biomorphic lines flow with smooth rhythm like water. Her brushstrokes on canvas look as lightweight as a feather touching skin. In Nagare’s paintings, all these evocative elements coexist in nature, only to be discovered by the viewer.
Nagare strives to extend her painting beyond the limits of the canvas, to make the exterior space wrap around the viewer. In recent years, Nagare has developed installation and performance work in which human movements and bodily expressions (such as a dance) interact with her paintings, so that human (the viewer) and nature (the painted landscape) are reunited in the work. The viewer gradually becomes part of the painted image – a landscape that is not about someone else but the viewer him/herself. From flat to spatial, from visual to corporeal, from intellectual to visceral, Nagare’s exuberant paintings approach you, talk to you, and in the end deliver the artistic authorship with full power.
Manika Nagare was born in Osaka in 1975 and raised in Kagawa, Japan. She studied painting at the Joshibi University of Art and Design. She has been exhibiting her work in Japan, the United States, Turkey and other international venues. Her work is represented by numerous international public and private collections and will be featured in an exhibition “Visible/Invisible Sceneries” at the Takamatsu Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan, which runs simultaneously with this New York solo show in October and November 2016.
For additional information and/or image requests, please contact Miyako Yoshinaga firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 212.268.7132
From September 15 to October 22, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Blue Bayou, the second solo exhibition of Yojiro Imasaka with the gallery. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2016, from 6pm to 8pm.
I'm going back someday,
Come what may, to Blue Bayou,
Where the folks are fine,
And the world is mine…
Imasaka’s new photography series shares its title with a ballad by American songwriter Roy Orbison, also a 1977 hit by Linda Ronstadt, Blue Bayou. Like the song, it captures the nostalgic pull of the geographically and culturally unique wetlands of southern Louisiana. Initially attracted by the mysteries conjured by the word “bayou,” Imasaka ended up spending months there photographing these low-lying deltas at the mouth of the Mississippi River. He recalls: “Its distinctive natural environment reminds me of an undeveloped forest. A quiet, and breathtaking scenery reflected on an extremely slow-moving stream deadens the sense of time. As I wandered around and delved further into the landscape, I realized that I was in complete awe of the beauty within the nature. I photographed the scenes as if I were praying for its everlasting existence.”
The 15 large and small landscapes in this exhibition demonstrate this alternative passage of time and an awakening feeling of “the world is mine” that struck Imasaka deep in the bayou. He realized the magnitude of the space and the extent of the light through long exposures with a classic 8 x 10 ultra-large format camera. Moreover, he created a hypnotic atmosphere by adding a distinctive blue cast to the images during a technically demanding darkroom process.
Edward M. Gómez describes the series in the accompanying catalog essay, noting that Imasaka’s “Blue Bayou images offer an inescapable evocation of natural forces and the passage of time ¾ in gently flowing water and shifting light caught in long exposures, and in lush vegetation in dramatic detail. Bearing witness to the impulse of a sensitive observer whose art resides in the hush of studious, lingering pauses, like that spirit, they reaffirm life.” *
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Yojiro Imasaka lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA in photography at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo, and went on to study at New York’s Pratt Institute from which he earned an MFA in 2010. Imasaka’s work has been exhibited in North America, Asia and Europe, including Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo), ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery (New York), Gymnasia Herzliya (Tel Aviv), Recycleart (Brussels), ITS#Four / International Talent Support (Trieste), and VT Artsalon (Taipei). Solo exhibitions were held at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York) in 2013, FOUR 11 Gallery (Brooklyn) and Chelsea West Gallery (New York) both in 2010, and NUCA Gallery (Tokyo) in 2007. His work is in the permanent collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis).
* Edward M. Gómez, “In Yojiro Imasaka’s Blue Bayou, a Spirit of Timelessness and Wonder,” in the exhibition catalog Blue Bayou, 2017. MIYAKO YOSHINAGA. Available upon request.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, in association with Savery Gallery, is pleased to announce Roger Ricco: Photography & Paintings, on view from August 15 through August 28, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 18, 6-8PM.
Roger Ricco finds many sources for his work in the backyard of his own studio, on a large parcel of wooded and fielded land in Woodstock, NY. Bits of nature, stones, shells, flora, feathers and the like are paired with found relics and new objects, and assembled into tabletop sets. A photographer heavily influenced by his background in painting, Ricco seeks not to depict reality but to show a whole new reality with the subject matter. As an early adapter of the digital photographic arts, he orchestrates further transformations through the use of of painted backdrops, dramatic lighting, and by shooting film through a variety of transparent screens. His humble subjects are reborn in ethereal and dramatic compositions.
After founding Ricco/Maresca Gallery with Frank Maresca, Ricco became recognized as the one of the major early introducers of Self Taught and Outsider Art to the art world at large. Over a period of 35 years, they have co-authored numerous books and catalogues, (with publishing partners that have included Alfred A. Knopf, Bulfinch Press, Little, Brown and Company, and Pomegranate Press) which are now integral to the world’s library of resources on Self-Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art history.
Ricco was selected to be the Diane Marek Visiting Artist (with exhibition) at the Cress Gallery of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He was also awarded The Rome Prize in painting by The American Academy in Rome. His work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego, CA and he has exhibited both his photography and painting thoughout the United States.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, in association with Savery Gallery, is pleased to announce Endurance, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Joan Wadleigh Curran on view from July 21 through August 14, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 21, 6-8PM.
Curran’s paintings explore the beauty, resiliency, and impermanence of discarded objects, building materials, items cast aside, things lost, and the natural world in the midst of it all.
In his essay written for the exhibition, Stan Mir asks of us: “The average viewer at the Met looks at a painting for seventeen seconds. How much does one care about the detritus in the street? ….Curran’s eyes become our eyes. She’s always asking us to imagine this, except she never provides a narrative. Why would she need to? We’re already living amongst these things.”
Her paintings walk a narrow line between por trait and landscape, challenging the viewer to come to a conclusion. Among the works in the exhibition are ‘Transmission’, a large-scale oil on canvas which interweaves the blank reflector shields of a cell phone tower with thick evergreen tree branches that wrap the structure, vibrant and in motion; and ‘Security,’ a rich field of a Mars-like color over taken with seemingly disparate objects like security cameras, amputated tree trunks, and unraveling blankets that, when seen as a collection, appear to be drawing closer together.
Again, from Stan Mir : “Like scholar’s rocks, the paintings in Endurance, ask us to contemplate the erosion of the private into the public. The tree in ‘Transmission’ is just one of the receptacles we share our secrets with. This is the New Age.“
Joan Wadleigh Curran received her BS in Ar t at Skidmore College and her MFA at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Her work has received grants from the Pennsylvania Council for the Ar ts in 2006 and 1987. She was a disciplinar y finalist for the Pew Fellowship in the Ar ts in 2001 and 1993, and received grants from the Independence Foundation in 2016, 2009, and 2004.
Curran’s work has been exhibited nationally at the Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Anchorage Museum, the Columbus Museum, High Museum of Ar t, and the Naples Museum, and internationally at the Cour tauld Institute, London, as well as in numerous galleries across the nor theast, She has received residencies at the Ballinglen Foundation, Ucross, Yaddo, VCCA, Hambidge, Stonehouse, and Studio in the Woods. Recently, she curated the city-wide public ar t project IMPRINT for The Print Center funded by PEI.
Curran lives and works in Philadelphia.This is her second exhibition with Saver y Galler y.
For media/press inquiries, please contact Savery Gallery at 267-687-7769 or by emailing: email@example.com
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to announce The Mediterranean, the seventh solo exhibition of figurative oil and mixed media paintings by Hans Benda, on view from June 2nd through July 16, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 2nd from 6 to 8 p.m. Artist will be present.
Many of Hans Benda’s recent paintings feature panoramas of lands and islands seen from sailors’ eyes. Gentle mountain silhouettes against murky skies are reflected in calm waters of coasts and harbors. A hazy hill with olive trees, a sun-blasted oasis, a thin waterfall, swelling clouds. In simple idyllic scenes meticulously painted in small to moderate scale, Benda’s nuanced brush captures the enigma of unfamiliar terrain.
Last year, Benda took a journey aboard a cruise ship, visiting such places as Jerusalem, Acre, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, and the Turkish coast, a part of the Mediterranean Sea that was once the center of influence on European history and culture and is now again the focus of world attention. As he sailed these waters, ancient clashes of civilizations and the current mass migrations of refugees inevitably crossed his mind. His thoughts were also influence by a book he was reading on the travels of St. Paul in this region in first century of the Christian era. In his own words: “We did not meet refugees along the way but I could not forget that they must have been somewhere around our shiny white cruise liner... my paintings are somehow free reflections on the sea, safe or dangerous coasts, islands, and hopes for safe crossings under circumstances not so different from Paul’s travels 2000 years ago.” One painting entitled A Dreamliner II depicts a small wooden boat on the beach as an ironical stand-in for a giant cruise liner.
Benda’s work is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of European painting, and some works in this exhibition call to mind Orientalism landscapes of North Africa and Asia Minor. His work however eschews romanticism and nostalgia, directly engaging today’s increasingly intricate world by blending the ancient and the modern, the peaceful and the fraught, the indifferent and the beckoning. In addition to oil on canvas, this exhibition includes oil drawings on resin-coated paper, a new technique he recently developed.
Born in Berlin in 1960, Hans Benda studied Fine Arts at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe (1982-87). After living in Belgium for many years, he currently divides his time between Idar-Oberstein (Germany) and Misakimachi (Japan). Benda’s work has been shown in Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.
For media/press inquiries, please contact Miyako Yoshinaga: firstname.lastname@example.org
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Close to the Edge: New Photography from Japan from April 21 to May 28, 2016, featuring works by Kenta Cobayashi, Mayumi Hosokura, Taisuke Koyama, Hiroshi Takizawa and Daisuke Yokota. The opening reception will be held Thursday, April 21, 6-8pm. A gallery talk on contemporary Japanese photography will be held on Thursday, April 28 at 7pm.
Over the past year, there have been several major museum and cultural institution exhibitions and events in the United States presenting historical and contemporary photography from Japan. They have included For a New World to Come (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Grey Art Gallery and Japan Society, NYC); In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Japan Society, NYC); Miyako Ishiuchi and Contemporary Japanese Photography (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles); and the Shashin Festival and Symposium (New York Public Library and the International Center of Photography, NYC). With American audiences now gaining expanded access to information about Japan’s rich photographic history through these museum shows, a desire to learn more about young Japanese photographers and the current Tokyo scene has arisen. Our upcoming gallery exhibition Close to the Edge: New Photography from Japan, curated by New York-based writer and photobook collector Russet Lederman, brings to New York City for the first time works by five young Japanese photographers in their 20s and 30s who explore the boundaries of image making in a post-Internet art world.
In her curatorial statement, Lederman states, “The five young Japanese photographers in Close to the Edge simultaneously embrace and shatter photographic illusions through images that acknowledge the artifice of their craft and the power of photography’s seductive fiction. Although united by their strong sense of community, friendship and common pursuit of rethinking established conventions of photographic expression, each photographer in this show approaches the task through a distinctly different methodology. Questions of analog versus digital, commercial versus fine art or manipulation versus documentation are no longer contentious… It doesn’t matter if their work is called photography, sculpture or art — all terms apply, or don’t.”
Kenta Cobayashi (b. 1992), the youngest in the group, freely uses social media platforms to distribute photos of himself, friends and his surroundings. The raw immediacy that is the hallmark of his work favors strong graphics and acid colors shot with a range of cameras and iPhones. Cobayashi is a prolific zine-maker, who often works collaboratively.
Mayumi Hosokura (born 1979) creates photographs that seduce her viewer through a conceptual approach that reshapes reality within the artifice of darkroom processes. Desire and danger merge in her Crystal Love Starlight images of androgynous male and female models whose fictive tales are based on real-life tabloid news stories. Hosokura, a recipient of the 2011 Foam Magazine Talent Award, has published several well-regarded photobooks. Her most recent book Transparency is the New Mystery, published by MACK, will be released at the same time as this exhibition.
Taisuke Koyama (b. 1978) finds inspiration within abstract elements from the natural environment. In his Light Field series, he visualizes light from a flatbed scanner as it is captured using a smaller handheld scanner. The gap between these two digital light input devices creates rippled patterns that give visible shape to unseen optical information. The resulting abstract images are snapshots of data in progress. Koyama is the recipient of a Japanese government residency grant and lives in Amsterdam. His forthcoming solo exhibition Generated Images will run from April 14 to May 27 at Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery in London.
Hiroshi Takizawa (b. 1983) explores physical texture and materiality in works that focus on cement and stone. Having completed his academic studies in criminal psychology, Takizawa sees a photograph as both a documentation of ‘evidence’ and an expression of human emotion. In his “Concrete is on My Mind_Figure” series, he photographs various concrete slabs as a witness of human activities, and then twists and sculpts the images to remind the viewer of the fragility and weightlessness of the photographic paper that the images are printed on.
Daisuke Yokota (b. 1983), Foam’s 2016 Paul Huf Award winner, is regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative young Japanese photographers working today. Yokota produces atmospheric works by flowing easily between analog and digital processes to achieve beautifully degraded and layered images. His Taratine series combines more recent photographs of his girlfriend with earlier road trip images of clouds and landscapes. Yokota’s work is currently on view at Japan Society in their In the Wake exhibition.
Russet Lederman is a writer, media artist and photobook collector living in New York City. She teaches art writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York and writes on photobooks for print and online journals, including Foam, The Eyes, IMA, Aperture and the International Center of Photography’s library blog. She is a co-founder of the 10×10 Photobooks project, lectures internationally on photobooks, and has received awards and grants from Prix Ars Electronica and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Works by Cobayashi, Hosokura, Koyama and Yokota will be presented in collaboration with G/P Gallery, Tokyo. Photobooks by the five photographers will be available for browsing and purchase in the gallery’s reading room.
A talk event exploring the current photography scene in Japan will take place on Thursday, April 28 at 7pm. Guest curator Russet Lederman will moderate a discussion with speakers: Sawako Fukai, Director of G/P Gallery, Tokyo and Michael Chagnon, Ph.D., Curator of Exhibition Interpretation at Japan Society Gallery, New York.
From March 3 to April 16, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Hitoshi Fugo: Flying Frying Pan 1979 – 1994, an exhibition of conceptual photography by Hitoshi Fugo. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, March 3, 6-8pm. This exhibition consists of a selection of approximately twenty gelatin silver images from Fugo’s series Flying Frying Pan made between 1979 and 1994. This is the first exhibition of the series in the United States.
One afternoon over three decades ago, Hitoshi Fugo noticed the sunlight coming through his kitchen window was reflected in an iron pan. He channeled his idiosyncratic sensibility into this rather ordinary phenomenon that others might have ignored and set his own rules for his new photography project: “I wanted to free myself thoroughly from the specific time, the specific place, and the relationships between the things and the place and even from the object itself. I desired to prove that you can do that through photography. This is where the Flying Frying Pan series came from.”
Over the next 15 years, Fugo tirelessly shot the same subject over and over, producing the 20” x 24” richly toned black-and-white prints. In the process, the subject lost its original identity and was transformed into a non-object, inviting a viewer to make a wide range of associations such as abstract geometrics, organic cells, and galactic landscapes. In his essay on this series, art critic Robert C. Morgan writes: “One can see in these extraordinary prints thematic concerns, possibly obsessions, as to how Hitoshi Fugo captured the exact feeling of the light as it fell on his greased iron pan. In some photographs one can imagine moon craters or geologic fissures, while in others, there is the rising light on the crescent of the moon, reminiscent of scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey from the late 1960s. (…) Here the artist has found, if not distilled, a macro/micro passage between inner and outer space, between intimacy of the self and overwhelming beauty of viewing infinity on a starry night.”
Born in 1947, Hitoshi Fugo studied photography at Nihon University in Tokyo. After graduation he worked for Eikoh Hosoe, a leading postwar photographer in Japan. In 1973 he went freelance and lived in New York and Paris for the next several years. He traveled extensively in 1980s and 1990s to India, Mexico and the U.S. The images he shot there were later made into the black-and-white series Black Out. Fugo’s other series include Game Over (1989-1991), a color series inspired by West Edmonton Mall in Canada, North America's largest shopping mall in the enclosed indoor compound, and Waterfall Watchers (1994). His most recent series is the critically acclaimed On the Circle (2003-2011). Outside of Japan Fugo’s work has been featured in a number of gallery and museum shows including “Japanese Photography Today” (Spain, 1986) and “Japanese Contemporary Photography” (Germany, 2000). In 2010, Fugo was awarded the prestigious Ina Nobuo Award.
The Flying Frying Pan series was published as a book (Shazow Kobo, 1997) and is available at the gallery for purchase. An exhibition catalog with an essay by Robert C. Morgan is also available upon request. MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is dedicated to mounting a series of important solo exhibitions by contemporary Japanese photographers. To this end, the gallery recently organized the successful exhibitions; Eikoh Hosoe: Curated Body 1959-1970 (2013), Issei Suda: Life In Flower 1971-1977 (2014), and Kazuo Kitai: Students, Workers, Villagers 1964-1978 (2015).
From February 11 to 20, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Uneventful Duration, a solo exhibition by Chicago-based emerging artist Ze Dong featuring his latest video and photo works: By the Way (2015), and Events of Time II (2014), as well as a selection of his past works. This exhibition is organized by independent curator, Yinzi Yi. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 11, from 6pm to 8pm.
Uneventful Duration questions the pre-established time frame we strictly rely on, explores time in our physical and mental dimensions, and strives to expand the experience of time in compliance with memory and imagination.
By the Way is a 22-minute single channel audio/video piece presented with a series of black and white photographs along the wall. This video is built upon the artist’s daily bus ride on the Michigan Avenue in Chicago—from home to school and back again, from north to south and back again—a meaningless transition so meagre in labor and effort that it can hardly be called a “journey.” Shot from inside a moving bus, four windows stay in the same frame, and yet the views from each window are edited to show different time, place, and direction. Dong’s treatment of the subject evokes the viewer’s own similar experience in their daily life, in which imagination and memory may find their way through the minutest cracks in reality and even start to rebel against its limitation. To express the manipulation of time to the fullest, the video and photos will be placed side by side to make a contrast between movement and the unmovable.
In the domestic space of the artist’s apartment, Events of Time II, a 12:00 two-channel audiovisual piece, shows a woman returning home, making tea, and eating fruits while watching TV in a couch. From the moment she enters the scene, the video seems to construct a storyline. But, soon multiple sequences overlap, and time is no longer measured by a single chain of her activities. The image on the screen becomes chaotic with the combination of happenings, even though they are programmed seconds. In this work, the presence of time is indicated only by motions such as the movements of the person or the traces of the things she brought along.
Born in China in 1988, Ze Dong received his BFA from the School of Art and Design, NYSCC at Alfred University, and his MFA from Film, Video, New Media and Animation Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work By the Way participated in “FVNMA Festival” at Gene Siskel Film Theater in Chicago in 2015. In 2014, his site-specific video installation Twos was exhibited at the Defibrillator Gallery in Chicago as part of a series of group shows: “Someone, Many People Probably,” and “Many People, Someone Definitely.” From 2012 to 2013, he participated in two shows at Robert C. Turner Gallery in Alfred, NY. Ze Dong currently lives and works in Chicago.
From December 17, 2015 to February 6, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Space Parts, the gallery's first solo exhibition of Paris-based Mari Minato's work. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, December 17, from 6pm to 8pm.
Space Parts consists of Minato’s site-specific painting installation as well as her recent works on paper. Minato’s work, characterized by just a few simple marks, lines, or shapes, involves extended surfaces and the surrounding space. In the site-specific work, she applies her brushstrokes directly on various architectural elements (i.e. a wall, a door, a window). In the smaller works, she employs multiple panels, often arranged unevenly. This unique format of simultaneously split and continuous surfaces resembles the pages of her sketchbooks, wherein she records her impressions of indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations; i.e. Gallic, Gallo-Roman, etc.
Though seemingly impulsive, Minato’s creative process begins long before she picks up a brush. When she visits historic sites, Minato pays particular attention to the relationship between the environment and the traces left by its occupants over the centuries. She finds inspiration in museum artifacts, architectural details, and elements of the landscape, recording all these in her sketchbook. This intense dialogue with actual objects and places informs her creative response to the complexity of different cultures or environments. The result is refreshingly evocative abstractions with revealing figurative elements that tap into deep human sensitivity. Her works on paper, though detached from the source environments, re-captures the energy rooted in the original culture. In addition, Minato’s work is intentionally fragmented, inviting the viewer to imagine the rest.
Minato’s own aesthetic upbringing stems from diverse backgrounds. The gestural and yet restrained brushstrokes trace back to her study of traditional Japanese painting. It is characterized by the application of a fluid and sensual line drawn on a surface intentionally left white. The acrylic medium and the dominant abstract form of her work are the result of her training as a contemporary artist. All in all, these works defy description as either painting or drawing, occidental or oriental, object or environment.
Mari Minato was born in Kyoto in 1981, where she studied traditional Japanese painting nihonga for 6 years. In 2006 she moved to Paris and studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Her recent commissioned installations include one in Nansana city in Uganda and one at l’Hôpital Necker in Paris. Her work has been exhibited at Galerie Premier Regard by the invitation of Gilles Fuchs in 2015 and at the 59th Salon de Montrouge in 2014. In 2012, She participated in the 21st edition of L’Art dans les Chapelles. In the same year, she created several installations including one at la Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans and the other for Little Fukushima held at la Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris as a tribute to the March 11, 2011 disaster in Japan.
From October 29 to December 5, 2015, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Jonathan Hammer: Blindness and Sight. The exhibition features his signature marquetry of diverse exotic animal skins tooled in gold leaf, along with enormous silverpoint drawings on handmade washi paper. The exhibition is Hammer’s tenth in New York, and the third with MIYAKO YOSHINAGA. An opening reception will be held Thursday, October 29, 6-8pm.
Affected by the current migrant crisis in Europe, Hammer presents this latest chapter of his ongoing project Kovno/Kobe, which examines the historical events that led the Jews of Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, to travel en masse to Kobe, Japan, and the massacre of those who stayed behind. Using a vocabulary of semiotics, Hammer questions and investigates how one people sees “the other,” when confronted with explosive sudden cultural contact. He elucidates the resulting misunderstandings and misrepresentations. How does the host see the refugee, and vice versa? Conceptually inspired by 16th century Namban screens that depicted the cultural clashes of the first westerners to arrive in Japan, his work searches for echoes of the experience in the Eastern European Jews’ sojourn in Kobe. Blindness and Sight delves into what vestiges were created and remain in the wake of a migratory progress.
Transience and disintegration of the self occur among displaces populations. Hammer’s labor-intensive marquetry of diverse animal skins, scrupulously reassembles the puzzle of these fragmented identities using a semi-abstracted figurative style. The eponymous work “Blindness and Sight” (2015), is made of inlaid salmon, lizard, shark, frog, beaver tail, seal, snake and ray, among other skins. Set in a period metal frame, the work suggests a magic mirror that reflects the curious reality of how different cultures interpret each other, in this case the Japanese and the Jew. By juxtaposing this work with an earlier leather piece, “Genesis” (2009), Hammer creates a double allegorical emblem, showing opulence and beauty along with the pain and mortality faced by the migrant.
The exhibition includes two large, cascading silver point drawings: “What did they see in each other?” (2014), and “Food for thought” (2015). The tarnished patina that ensues with the use of this Renaissance technique, for Hammer, embodies the indelibility and subtle discoloration of memory. The mark of memory left behind by the migrant stranger. As in “Warrior Masks” (2013), thousands of minute sinuous lines create waves of large organic motifs and signs that focus on the dichotomy of master and slave, perpetrator and savior, victim and victimizer. These powerfully glowing paper tableaux were begun last year during a residency in Japan.
Jonathan Hammer (b. 1960) lives and works in Spain and Japan. He has had over 40 solo exhibitions at venues in many countries, including the Berkeley Museum and the Geneva Center for Contemporary art. Hammer was recently named a fellow of The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Much of the Kovno/Kobe project has been shown in Japan as well as in Europe and the US. Earlier this year he spoke about the project in the 360 series at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Hammer’s critical writing, Ball and Hammer, has been published by Yale University Press (2002). His work is included in many public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hammer Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
New York July 15, 2015 --- From September 10 to October 24, 2015, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present KAZUO KITAI: Students, Workers, Villagers 1964-1978, featuring over 30 modern and vintage gelatin silver print photographs by Kazuo Kitai. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, September 10, 6-8pm.
With a quietly eloquent personal style, Kazuo Kitai (b. 1944) has chronicled a half-century of Japan’s shifting social landscapes. His work defined a new standard for documentary photography. This exhibition features Kitai’s own selection of 28 images from six different series created between 1964 and 1978 (Resistance, Kobe Dockers, Barricade, Sanrizuka, Somehow Familiar Places, and To the Villages). Recently printed on “aging process” photo paper, these prints exude a nostalgic warmth while maintaining superior archival quality. In addition, the exhibition also features ten rare vintage prints, some of which will be included in a forthcoming book published by Nazraeli Press.
In 1964, as a free-spirited 20-year-old college student, Kitai photographed a series of face-offs between antigovernment demonstrators and riot squads, capturing the raw energy of mass movements on aged films. The following year, Kitai self-published his first book entitled Teiko (Resistance), and in 1965, he himself became involved with the student movement. In 1968, he documented the occupation of a Nihon University building from an insider’s perspective. His subjects included painted slogans along with common objects i.e. umbrella, shoes, a clothes hanger -- reminders of ordinary life amidst the chaos. Over the next two years he lived among the farmers of the Sanrizuka village in Narita at the peak of their resistance to the construction of the new international airport.
A turning point for Kitai’s career came at the end of the 1960s when he departed from the prevailing trend to document city life and began traveling to the remote countryside to photograph ordinary people’s lives. He photographed children, women and the elderly (adult males had mostly gone to work in the cities), while his wide-angle lens tenderly embraced their environment -- a sparsely populated landscape with an old-fashioned farmhouse, a wooden utility pole, a one-man ferry boat—all on the verge of transformation during the rapid economic growth in 1970s Japan. His well-known reportage To the Villages was published from 1974 for more than three years in the monthly Asahi Camera and earned him the first Ihei Kimura Prize in 1976.
Kazuo Kitai was born in 1944 in Anshan, Manchuria while it was under Japanese occupation. After World War II he grew up in Tokyo and spent his high school years in Kobe. He studied photography briefly at Nihon University in Tokyo. Though he has always been well respected in the artistic community, Kitai’s reputation has recently been enhanced by a host of new publications and exhibitions. His work was included in Martin Parr’s The Protest Box in 2011, and Harper’s Books published Barricade designed by John Gossage in 2012. The same year Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography organized his career retrospective, and a series of new books of his early works have been published in Japan by Tosei-sha and Zen Foto Gallery. Kitai’s work is also included in a new American museum exhibition For A New World To Come: Experiments of Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Mar. 7 – Jul. 12, 2015); the Grey Art Gallery (Sep. 11– Dec. 5, 2015); Japan Society (Oct. 9 – Jan. 11, 2016). A gallery exhibition of his work will be held this August at Zen Foto Gallery and Zeit Foto Salon in Tokyo. His work is represented by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Art Institute of Chicago, and numerous Japanese institutions.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo. An exhibition catalog with an essay by Janet Koplos is available upon request. MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is dedicated to mounting a series of important solo exhibitions by contemporary Japanese photographers. To this end, the gallery recently organized the successful exhibitions Eikoh Hosoe: Curated Body 1959-1970 (2013) and Issei Suda: Life In Flower 1970-1979 (2014).
Intrusion features McGrady’s recent conceptual drawings of architectural structures. McGrady’s fortified enclosures remind us of industrial and institutional building, especially those run by the state. While his visual vocabulary is aligned with modernism i.e. Bauhaus, Constructivism, and Minimalism, his color palette is limited to black, white, and different shades of gray. The black and white building planes might represent the irony of architecture -- protection and security versus containment and control -- whereas the tube-like gray borders can be interpreted as representing the ambiguous status and quality of the structures’ foundations in light of social progress.
McGrady’s upbringing in the Northern Ireland of the 1970s and 1980s gave him ample reason to become preoccupied by the psychology of power and control. Taken together as a group, these drawings serve as his personal narrative on the relationship between architecture and ideology. Or, as McGrady says: “The drawings call attention to core elements of sociological control that operate within the structure of the built environment. Such elements can be discerned in contemporary approaches to urban planning, surveillance, defensive structures, walls, barriers and fortifications that embody ideas of security and protection. Within this context, the drawings are an attempt to engage with the dichotomy between representations of power and the embrace of the visionary in a socio-political climate increasingly defined by fear and crisis.”
Conor McGrady’s work examines the relationship between ideology and the politics of spatial control. He has exhibited internationally, with one-person exhibitions in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Zagreb. Group exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, The Jerusalem Show VII: Fractures (Qalandiya International Biennial), D-0 Ark Underground Biennale of Contemporary Art, Sarajevo-Konjic, and IK-00 Spaces of Confinement in Venice. Editor of Radical History Review’s Curated Spaces, his writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Ruminations on Violence (Waveland Press, 2007) State of Emergence (Plottner Verlag, 2011) and State in Time (Drustvo NSK Informativni Center, Ljubljana, 2012). He received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA Hons from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, UK. As Dean of Academic Affairs at Burren College of Art, he currently divides his time between the Burren, Ireland and New York City.
1800 Millimètre features Anrakuji’s five color and seventeen gelatin silver prints in her usual intimate scale. The images feature Anrakuji’s bare body in a shadowy room with door, mirror, and a curtained window that imbues the natural setting with the artificiality of a stage set. Boldly distorted angles and grainy details render her identity intentionally elusive. Her odd and awkward gestures with her wild hair flowing over her torso create a weirdly seductive ambiance that exerts an immediate attraction.
On closer observation, however, one sees a compelling psychological backbone in Anrakuji’s work. The title of her new series 1800 Millimètre is an allusion to a well-known poet Shiki Masaoka; whose essays entitled Byosho Rokushaku (Sickbed of 1800mm) was finished just before his premature death. Like Masaoka, the ordeal of the sickbed has impacted Anrankuji’s productivity. In her early 20s, Anrakuji was diagnosed with a brain illness that confined her to a hospital bed on and off for the next decade. Her gradual recovery left her blind in one eye and with severely impaired vision in the other. This condition has made Anrakuji, who cannot see a tip of a pencil, discover that the camera can be her eye.
Through the viewfinder, Anrakuji has been able to envision a mesmerizing universe from her limited physical environment. Her calamitous near-death experience informs anxieties and daydreams evoked in her high-contrast black-and-white work. In her color work, fragmentary body forms – hands, lips, breasts, etc. – and colors mysteriously collide in an emotional labyrinth. In After Araki, a recent issue of FOAM magazine, Russet Lederman writes of Anrakuji’s work, “Similar to Araki, the self, framed by Eros (sex and life) and Thanatos (death), draw on our most intimate fears and desires.”
Emi Anrakuji (b. 1963) lives and works in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied oil painting at Musashino University of Art and Music. During a decade-long hiatus in the late 80s, she taught herself photography. Since 2001, her award-winning work has been exhibited extensively across the United States, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and France. A Higashikawa New Photography Prize winner in 2006, Anrakuji participated in the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea in 2008. Her work has been featured in several notable publications, including FOAM, The New Yorker, IMA, Monthly Photo (Korea), C-International Photo Magazine, and X-funs (Taiwan). Nazraeli Press has published three of her monographs: ANRAKUJI (2006), e-hagaki (2007), and IPY (2008).
From March 12 to April 18, 2015, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present Joo Myung Duck: Motherland, the celebrated Korean photographer’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Motherland features thirty gelatin-silver prints produced and hand-printed by Joo between 1965 and 2010. The exhibition examines his remarkable journey from photorealism to abstract photography. An opening reception will be held Thursday, March 12, 6-8pm.
Joo Myung Duck (b. 1940) is one of the most important photographers working today in South Korea. Joo’s early documentary style work observes the everyday struggles in post-Korean War society. Whether his subjects are orphans, villagers, or families, Joo focuses on their dignity within harsh realities and unsettled circumstances. His other work exquisitely studies the details of traditional architecture—from palaces to farmhouses—in a soft dim light. Joo’s most outstanding works are the dark abstract landscapes that characterize his later evolution as an artist.
Among the most iconic images in Joo’s early work are portraits of children born of Korean women and American servicemen. Collectively known as Mr. Holt’s Orphanage/The Mixed Names (1965), these war orphans’ images reject mere judgment or sympathy. Widely published at the time, these photographs are now considered a cornerstone of Korean Realism. Inspired in part by Margret Mead’s “Family” (1965), Korean Families, the family portraits he shot on location during the 70s, both celebrate and question the fundamental values of rural and urban life amid rapid modernization.
In the 80s and 90s, Korea’s traditional architecture and natural landscapes became dominant in Joo’s work. He records these cultural and historical relics using an ethnographic approach, while evolving a photographic language all his own. In his series of ancient buildings, details like carved wood flower patterns evoke the calm and timeless ambiance of environments fallen into the shadows of modern Korea. In his Lost Landscapes (1987-2001) series, Joo depicts breathtaking vistas of indigenous mountains, forests, trees, flowers and grasses, all within an extremely narrow range of dusky black tones (described by critics as “Joo Myung Duck Black”). For more than a decade, Joo has obsessively photographed such landscapes, experimenting for the first time in photographic abstraction. In the gallery’s back office, we will also present a small selection of Joo’s rare still-life work, Rose (2008), as well as his most recent and never-shown Waterlilies (2007/10).
Joo Myung Duck was born in 1940 in Hwanghae Province, now part of North Korea. His family moved south shortly after the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945. While studying history at Kyung-Hee University in Seoul, he engaged in a great deal of mountain climbing and taking photographs. His first one-person show, Mr. Holt’s Orphanage in Seoul in 1966, caused a sensation. Between 1969 and 19XX he worked for Monthly Joong-Ang as a photojournalist, contributing numerous photo essays. Other solo exhibitions include Lyric of Korea (1981), Lotte Museum, Seoul, Landscape (1989), Seoul Museum, Seoul, The Space of Korea (1994), Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Japan, An Die Photographie (1999), Kumho Museum, Seoul, Incheon Chinatown 1968 (2002), The Museum of Photography, Seoul, and Portrait of Memory (2007), Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain. A two-part museum retrospective took place at Daelim Museum (Seoul) in 2008 and 2009. Joo’s work has been published in numerous magazines and books, including Lost Landscapes (1993), Rose (2009), and The Abstract in Photography (2008).
For more information and requests, please contact: email@example.com, +1 212. 268. 7132
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present “Borderline Dysfunction,” a selection of works by contemporary Cuban artist José Luis Fariñas. This, his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, will be on view from January 8 through February 14, 2015. The opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, January 8, from 6 to 8 pm.
Based in Havana all his life, 42-year-old Fariñas has spent a great deal of his career exploring his themes of chaos, disorder, infinity, dysfunction, and transmutation. “Borderline Dysfunction,” consisting of two oil paintings and eleven watercolor drawings arranged chronologically from 1999 to 2012, traces the development of Fariñas’ singular vision, a universe in which an anguished reality is transformed in a mesmerizing array of surprisingly tender grotesqueries.
In his oeuvre, Fariñas repeatedly depicts a skull-faced figure with feathers or wings as well as an egg like motif. In his early oil painting “Deep Meditative State" (1999) Farinas portrays what appears to be a prototype of a half man/half insect creature in the possible act of awakening and stretching into a new day. In “The Beginning of the Emotions” (2007) the winged old man confronts the egg (the mystery/unknown), which, according to Fariñas, is a metaphor of the boulder and the winged man/human is Sisyphus, the mythical sufferer of unending frustration. Through his work Fariñas travels a never-ending cycle of emotional ups and downs. “Metamorphosis from the Meditation” (2010) is akin to an anatomical study of metamorphosis, demonstrating his belief that in this chaotic world, transmutation is the only constant.
In addition to an extraordinary vision, Fariñas’ watercolor and sumi ink drawings display a masterful technique of meticulous detail rendered with an extra fine brush. The overall effect is a sense of dreamy illusion, creating its own spiritual world. We can further examine Fariñas’ philosophical intention by reading the carefully named titles of the works.
Finally, Fariñas’ images add up to self-portrait, revealing his deeply personal view of the mysterious, unfathomable changing world around him. Yet instead of seeming troubling, Fariñas’ “Borderline Dysfunction” gives us a direct and a definite statement of acceptance of the the chaos and disorder of this world. Fariñas is not only a visual artist but also a kind of spiritual storyteller who eloquently expresses his philosophy through his works.
José Luis Fariñas was born in 1972 to Spanish-Cuban parents of Sephardic origin. A graduate of the San Alejandro Academia de Artes Plásticas, he also studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. Fariñas has had more than 30 solo exhibitions and been included in 140 group shows both in Cuba and abroad. In the United States, museum exhibitions have included the Museo de las Américas, the Mizel Museum of Judaica, (both in Denver), the MDC Museum of Art + Design (Miami) and the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh. Recently, two art books illustrated by Fariñas for LIBER Ediciones, Cervantes, el soldado and Apocalypsis, received First National Prize for Book of High Bibliophilic Art (2006, 2010) and are included in the German Book Museum’s collection in Leipzig.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present “Latent Heat, “ a solo exhibition of photographic works by Mayumi Lake, on view through December 24, 2014. This is her fifth solo exhibition at the gallery and her first in four years.
The ideas behind Lake’s atmospheric photography are primarily inspired by her life experiences. Born in Osaka, Japan, Lake was conditioned to hold back her true feelings in a society where spoken and unspoken protocols for women are still significant. Since her move to the United States two decades ago, she has investigated sexuality and female archetypes with both humor and irony throughout her work. After March 2011, when Lake witnessed unparalleled disasters in her homeland caused by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, she was too overwhelmed to create any new work for a while. Around the same time, Lake experienced several personal losses including a family member's mysterious illness and the sudden, unexpected death of a close friend. These life events eventually inspired Lake to create a new series full of ominous feelings.
“Latent Heat,” Lake’s newest (and most sinister) series reflects upon those difficult years in an attempt to apprehend other people’s suffering and accept their ultimate fate. Lake states: “These horrific events, unfolding through the media daily in my birthplace, and the uneasiness and apprehension associated with loss and grieving began to merge together, to synchronize. I was the vortex, the meeting space of several disconnected events that formed a personal sense of tragic ending; a belief akin to the fated sense of despair associated with the end date of the Mayan calendar. I began to think, and even truly believe in a single fated day for the end of all things.”
Some of Lake’s new images feature a woman in a colorful geometrically patterned kimono, as well as several simple theatrical objects ---a floating red disc, a white dress, a cluster of white umbrellas, a smoldering bonfire--- all situated in a dark, lush landscape akin to those depicted in a biblical tableau. These visionary scenes suggest unfathomable abysses connected to the netherworld. Other images depict more realistic scenes, such as a night performance of a Navajo dancer in an empty sports field and stored kimonos in a plastic case. Each image illustrates a yearning to preserve dying traditions. Fabrics and papers, Lake’s favorite materials, are fragile, organic and flammable. They remind us of the transitional nature of life while serving as a poignant remembrance of the spirits of the departed. In chemistry, latent heat refers to the axiom that the released and absorbed energy of an object are equal regardless of the state of the materials. Lake’s “Latent Heat” seems to convey her conviction that an ending in our material world may also be seen as the beginning of a new state of being.
Mayumi Lake studied photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Since 1997, Lake’s work has been exhibited at national and international venues including the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), Art In General, the Asia Society, and the Museum of Sex (New York). Nazraeli Press published two monographs by Lake (Poo-Chi, Ex Post Facto). In 2008, international photography magazine EYEMAZING featured her Ex Post Facto series. She lives and works in Chicago.
From September 11 to October 18, 2014, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present “Issei Suda: Life In Flower 1971-1977,” featuring over 30 vintage and modern gelatin silver prints by Issei Suda (b.1940). Suda, a prolific 74-year-old Japanese photographer, is best known for his captivating street portraits exploring the mysterious and witty aspects of human life. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, September 11, 6-8pm. The exhibition features Suda’s signature square medium-format black-and-white photographs of ordinary people in public places in and around Tokyo in the 1970s. Nearly four decades later, the images with fine detail and rich tonality in this exhibition immortalize the compelling nature of these unlikely subjects.
From 1971 to 1977, Suda traveled to traditional festivals where he found old-fashioned customs, rituals, and most importantly, exuberant participants and spectators. During this same period, Suda chronicled people engaged in their daily lives on the streets of Tokyo. Crosscurrents of rural and urban, extraordinary and ordinary, and traditional and modern during the rapid urbanization of Japan in the 70’s run through Suda’s seminal twin works; Fushi Kaden (“The Flowering Spirit,” 1978) and Waga Tokyo 100 (“My Tokyo 100,” 1979). This exhibition represents selections from both series.
During this era, many young Japanese photographers followed the street photography style made popular by artists such as William Klein and Robert Frank who took spontaneous pictures of public places and people. Suda’s portraits, though serendipitous and unposed, often conjure a subtle artificiality. Whether in full-length, three-quarter, or close-up views, his subjects are mostly single individuals shot against tightly cropped backgrounds. They look lively yet a little off-kilter, trapped in a moment between conscious and unconscious states. His landscapes and still-lifes set an otherworldly mood, a sort of Eastern film-noir. Suda’s unusual viewpoint looks beyond the immediate subject, resulting in a final image that projects uncanny dissonance and curiosity.
Issei Suda was born in Tokyo in 1940 and graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography in 1962. By mid 1970s, Suda emerged as a promising new photographer through his work in the photo magazines, particularly the trend-setting Camera Mainichi. In 1976 his first major series Fushi Kaden earned him the Newcomer's Award from the Photographic Society of Japan. Suda was one of 19 artists included in Japan: A Self-Portrait, the 1979 exhibition at the International Center of Photography, New York. In the next four decades, Suda continued to produce many acclaimed series, including Waga Tokyo 100 (1979), Monogusa Syui (1982), Ningen no Kioku (1996) and Minyou Sanga (2007). He has held numerous solo exhibitions in and out of Japan, and most recently last year, the artist’s first major retrospective at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Suda’s work has been represented by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The J. Paul Getty Museum among others.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Mark Pearson and Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo and in consultation with Mihyun Kang. An accompanying exhibition booklet as well as 2013 monograph “Waga Tokyo 100”(published by Zen Foto Gallery) are available upon request.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is dedicated to mounting a series of important solo exhibitions by contemporary Japanese photographers. Last year, the gallery organized a successful exhibition entitled Eikoh Hosoe: Curated Body 1959-1970.
From May 29 to July 12, 2014, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Trees from the Pacific Shores, the first solo exhibition of Bianca Sforni’s photography at the gallery. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, May 29, 2014, from 6pm to 8pm.
Trees from the Pacific Shores is the first public exhibition of seven photographic prints dedicated to the artist’s earlier black-and- white tree series. The trees in this series are isolated against a velvety black background, revealing the naturally ephemeral character and fantastical qualities inherent in their awe-inspiring physical forms.
Bianca Sforni had spent an extended period of time in Los Angeles – a city with balconies facing eastward over the shores of the Pacific - when she became motivated, by curiosity, to fly across the ocean to the island of Cipango (Italian for Japan, Marco Polo, Il Milione, circa 1300). Sforni immediately gravitated to cycads, a tree species distantly related to the palm tree, in their winter robes (komomaki). These odd and somewhat surreal forms became the subject of From Cipango I-V, 2003. Set alone or in a group, Sforni’s quirky images demonstrate the artist’s taste for the unknown, animated with a touch of sly humor.
Hollywood Juniper, 2002, in contrast, is an old pine tree with gracefully manicured branches. A seemingly gigantic botanical wonder, the depicted majestic juniper is actually a third-generation bonsai tended by several experts over many years. Juniper I, 2002, meanwhile, displays a slender and soaring trunk with few branches. Here, the artist blurs the details, creating a ghostly abstraction of axis mundi, a link between the underworld into which the roots plunge; and the celestial spheres, toward which the branches stretch.
According to the Shinto tradition in Japan, trees are the natural residence of kami, or spirits. Concurrent with the tree-worshipping cults that flourished in both Eastern and Western cultures, the tradition of miniaturizing trees was also carried from Japan to the western world soon after the cultures began interacting. Just as Sforni’s photographs construct a theoretical bridge between the Pacific shores of California and Japan in terms of spirituality and scale, they can also be seen as a memorial to those Japanese-American citizens and resident aliens who were interned in California during World War II.
Bianca Sforni, (born 1963, Milan), lives and works in New York. Sforni’s work has been exhibited throughout North America and Europe, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome (MACRO); Museum of European Photography in Paris (MEP); The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; The Pool NYC; Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, New York; and Galerie Emanuel Perrotin, Paris. Solo exhibitions were held at Claudia Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Yoshii Gallery, New York; Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; and Galerie Eric Mircher, Paris.
An artist book will be published by Sforni to accompany the exhibition.
From April 17 to May 24, 2014, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Sleeping Beauty, the solo exhibition of Yojiro Imasaka’s photography. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014, from 6pm to 8pm.
Consisting of over twenty color and black-and-white photographs, Sleeping Beauty is a selection from a larger body of work by Imasaka, who documented his two-month road trip across the United States. This exhibition presents a mix of his smaller 35mm film prints and his larger prints using a classic Deardorff 8 x10" large format camera. Imasaka alters “fast” and “slow” image-making techniques in response to the multi-faceted American scenery he observed.
In the summer of 2013 - traveling alone by car with camping equipment - Imasaka began his northern route in Maine, passed through the Midwest, then made his way across the Rocky Mountains to the west coast. He returned east by way of the southwest and Appalachia, ending in upstate New York, where his American wanderings first began. Although unreservedly quiet in its conventionality, Imasaka’s diverse American landscape gradually reveals hidden wonders just below the surface.
With the 35mm film, Imasaka shot numerous roadside sceneries that resulted in the dozen postcard-sized color images in this exhibition. Deceivingly underwhelming and often vague and patchy, the group of small landscapes invites our scrutiny of what constitutes a vast part of the American landscape to be played against common perception. Imasaka makes a striking contrast with the series of larger, spatially complex images in his exhibition. An abandoned trailer in an expansive grass field or a dilapidated barn in a rampant forest - spotted often on off-road trails - are unremarkable at a first glance. And yet, their decays and remains suggest the furtive footprint of humanity reclaimed by the surrounding nature.
The superficially ordinary scenes in Imasaka’s Sleeping Beauty decelerate our hectic plugged-in life, and let us become immersed in a mysteriously physical and emotional space.
A monograph of the artist’s larger body of work, Untitled Scapes of America (USA), is being published and presented in conjunction with this exhibition. Russet Lederman, a writer and photobook collector, contributes her essay to this publication, and writes: “Imasaka instinctively understands the power of suggestion and masterfully uses it to reveal the shadows of people who have just passed through his frame or are still present at its periphery.”
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Yojiro Imasaka lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA in photography at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo, and went on to study at New York’s Pratt Institute from which he earned an MFA in 2010. Imasaka’s work has been exhibited in North America, Asia and Europe, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo), ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery (New York), Gymnasia Herzliya (Tel Aviv), Recycleart (Brussels), ITS#Four / International Talent Support (Trieste), and VT Artsalon (Taipei). Solo exhibitions were held at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York)’s project space in 2011, FOUR 11 Gallery (Brooklyn) and Chelsea West Gallery (New York) both in 2010, and NUCA Gallery (Tokyo) in 2007.
Line of Sight consists of seventeen recent oil paintings by Nagare, in which the artist applies translucent brushstrokes of both opulent and sober colors that flow organically across her pictorial surface. Blue, purple, magenta, yellow, and – occasionally - green, red and white, are delicately layered, bleeding, and morphing into dynamic abstract forms.
For many years, observing strangers around her has been an impetus for Nagare’s art. She fixes her eyes on both the visible and invisible, the shapely and shapeless characteristics of a person, filtered through her imagination. By tracing these remnants in her studio, Nagare confronts the stranger’s reciprocated gaze. This distant and delayed exchange with strangers allows Nagare to create psychologically unsettling and ambiguous abstract portraits.
These works, produced between 2013 and 2014 and featured in Line of Sight, adopt the same attitude towards the landscapes – particularly of Tohoku, a northeastern region of Japan – as her new interest. The omnipresent beauty and strength in natural environments such as mountain ridges, clouds, rocks, or waterfalls are clearly the artist’s inspiration for the last three years. At the same time, the works communicate Nagare’s internal state of being as an intent witness of a potentially fearful sublime force. The artist keeps her eye trained on the lines of nature, allowing for the formation of her personal lines within the paintings. Such lines eventually meet with the eye of others—viewers or strangers. This open-ended “line of sight” concept is the key to appreciating the depth of Nagare’s mesmerizing work.
Manika Nagare was born in Osaka in 1975. After graduating from the department of painting at Joshibi University of Art and Design, she exhibited her work at the VOCA exhibition, a platform for young emerging artists, in 2000 and 2006. Since 2002, she has been an overseas artist-in-residence sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and a recipient of the Pola Art Foundation Grant based in New York, showing her work in the US, Turkey and other countries. Major exhibitions include “Glib Reticence, Reticent Glibness” at the Pola Museum Annex, Tokyo, and “Domani: The Art of Tomorrow” at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Since 2012, Nagare has organized an art workshop project Ichijigahaku (Artist For A Day) for the children affected by earthquake and tsunami, making frequent trips to Tohoku.
Nocturnal Labyrinth is a group exhibition of drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculpture that evokes the mysterious psychological depth of nighttime. Some even suggest paranormal phenomena.
The exhibition opens January 23 through February 22, 2014, and an opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 23, 6-9pm.
Nightfall marks the beginning of our private and intimate hours, the solitude provoking contemplation of spiritual matters as well as unbridled imagination and fantasy. In this exhibition, eleven international artists express their visions of nocturnal power.
The nocturnal environment is familiar terrain for light-sensitive photography. The dehumanized Los Angeles nightscapes of Bianca Sforni are haunted by the otherworldly glow of green traffic lights. From a boat’s window at daybreak, Inbal Abergil captures an ephemeral reflection of lights floating like a constellation of UFO’s over the ocean. Yojiro Imasaka’s infrared film heightens the loneliness of a solitary figure walking on a rocky path under a dramatic cloudscape. Mayumi Lake utilizes “Rembrandt lighting” to intensify the sensuality of a woman’s semi-nude body. In Erika deVries’s vision, flower petals and a tree stump are illuminated only by the intermittent light of a “Let it Shine” neon sign.
The artists, working in drawing, painting, and sculpture, explore myriad shades of nocturnal atmospheres.
Marc Lepson’s set of four charcoal drawings of unsettling images (a hand gripping a hammer, a moth, an angel’s wing in close-up) calls to mind the rituals of black magic. Using acrylic, pen, pencil, and sumi ink, Adoka Niitsu traces starry and feathery fragments against a shiny black surface.
Rodney Dickson builds thick layers of oil paint until the sculptural surface becomes a shimmering cascade of nocturnal color – black, blue, purple, and more hidden beneath. Seana Reilly applies charcoal and wax onto a film paper creating layered stalactites of darkness. Her organic, micro-cosmic abstract painting shares its spiritual quality with Jacek Maczynski ‘s more rigidly composed abstractions. Until his untimely death in 2011, Maczynski devoted decades to the search for the ultimate black/white, shadow/light dichotomy in his Renaissance-style egg tempera paintings. And in the field of sculpture, the ceramic artist Anders Ruhwald applies a primordial black glaze to an ambiguous rough-textured shape in which darkness threatens to spill over into waking consciousness.
The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For more information and/or requests, please contact Miyako Yoshinaga, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +1 212 268 7132.
From December 12, 2013 to January 18, 2014, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery is proud to present Unnatural Selections, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Dominique Paul. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, December 12, 2013, from 6PM to 8PM.
Using photographs and video work, Dominique Paul journeys through a plausible near future where humans and animals adapt to survive. Unnatural Selections derives from three projects the artist undertook between 2010 and 2013: The Insects of Surinam, Migrations of the Arthropods and Prometheus.
For The Insects of Surinam (2011-13), Paul combines contemporary magazine cutouts of male bodies with delicate Baroque-era illustrations of tropical plants and insects by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). Merian was a female naturalist who traveled to Surinam in South America in 1699 and became a pioneer in the study of the metamorphosis of insects. The two image sources, from widely different moments in time and space, are deceptively harmonized by the reflection of light through plastic and glass containers. The resulting imagery slyly comments on controversial genetic engineering in an era of increasingly endangered species.
Global warming is the subject of Migrations of the Arthropods, Paul’s 2012 photo and video work in which wearable structures are created using recycled plastic bottles to affect a transformation from human to insect, thus re-envisioning Kafka's Metamorphosis as an evolutionary survival mechanism.
In the photo series Prometheus (2010-2011), Paul questions human consciousness. A shamanistic figure wearing luminous headgear seems to channel the spirits of stuffed animals in what appears to be a natural history museum.
The artist performs and employs projection, collage, lighting and other techniques as well as designs costumes and props to construct her multi-layered imagery.
Dominique Paul (b. 1967) lives and works in New York (USA) and Montreal (Canada) where she received a Doctorate in the Study and Practice of Arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada (2009). Paul’s thesis titled “Entre chair et lumière: actualité de la photographie” is to be published by Art Le Sabord Editions in 2014. She has an MFA from UNSW, Sidney, Australia. Her work has been shown throughout Canada, the United States, France, China and Japan, and is featured extensively in European and North American Publications. In 2012, Paul was awarded an artist in residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) on Governors Island where the series Migrations of the Arthropods was created. Paul has received generous support from: Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Longueuil, Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles du Québec, and the Québec Government Office in New York.
From October 24 to November 23, 2013, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery is pleased to present the fourth solo exhibition of Emi Anrakuji since 2006. The artist reception will be held on Thursday, October 24, 6pm to 8pm.
Known for her voyeuristic recording of dream-states in everyday life, Emi Anrakuji ultimately creates a compelling parallel world that is both intimate and remote.
In Anrakuji’s new series entitled O MAPA (“The Map” in Portuguese), 25 photographs, mostly black and white, feature a vulnerable and sensual female persona as the artist’s alter ego, who appears in an array of mysterious urban and rural settings. Fragmentary and obscure, the subject’s activity and/or location is purposefully left to the viewer to identify. The artist refers to these portraits simply as “actions” which are necessary to do in order to live and as essential as breathing, blinking, or sleeping. Most of the time, these visions seem confined within a liminal state while conveying a sense of motion. Anrakuji’ use of peculiarly low or high angles brings to mind the anonymous nature of surveillance photographs. The artist has recently shifted her approach from expressing restrained emotions to exploring her persona’s surrogate life and developing an eloquent narrative around it. In this regard, her current work tends to avoid displaying excessive emotional tones, allowing the viewer to read the photographs like a map with multiple perspectives. This new series, O MAPA releases a flow of emotions filtered not by logic but by intuition arising from the artist’s concocted dreams.
Emi Anrakuji (b. 1963) lives and works in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied oil painting at Musashino University of Art and Music. In the early 1980s, she was diagnosed with a cerebral tumor. During her recovery and a decade-long hiatus, she taught herself photography. Since 2001, her work has been extensively exhibited across Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work has been reviewed by many notable publications, including C-International Photo Magazine and X-funs. Nazraeli Press has published several monographs, including e-hagaki (2006), ANRAKUJI (2007) and IPY (2008).
New York July 25, 2013 --- From September 12 to October 19, 2013, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery is delighted to present “Eikoh Hosoe: Curated Body 1959-1970,” featuring 34 vintage prints by the master Japanese photographer, Eikoh Hosoe. This exhibition is organized in association with Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York. An opening reception will be held Thursday, September 12, 6-8pm.
Eikoh Hosoe (b. 1933) is widely acknowledged to be a pioneer of expressionistic post-WWII Japanese photography. Throughout an oeuvre spanning over fifty years, Hosoe has explored the human body’s physicality as a subject that reveals a shifting interior landscape of dreams and desires. The exhibition focuses on black-and-white photographs from Hosoe’s two seminal series Man and Woman (1959-1960) and Embrace (1969-1970). Produced ten years apart, these two series bookend a prolific decade of artistic production, solidifying Hosoe’s bold and dramatic aesthetics into a clear statement against the “objective” realism which was then the dominant photographic convention in Japan.
Permeated by dark, obscure images of naked bodies, Man and Woman is inspired by Tatsumi Hijikata, the charismatic dancer and founder of Ankoku Butoh (Dance of Darkness). Using Hijikata and other dancers as his models, Hosoe’s photo narrative evokes a hybrid myth of Western and Eastern rituals. The tensions arising from the model’s gaze, stripped body parts, and bodily interactions with the opposite gender serve to meditate on questions of life and death. Embrace, by comparison, testifies to Hosoe’s ability to compose austere yet soulful poetry out of the pure and uniquely expressive forms of the human body. Reducing the model’s flesh to a calm abstract contemplation of body contours, Hosoe then juxtaposes soft and muscular overtones, generating powerful illusions that bore deeply into one’s subconscious. Hosoe initially shot the prototypes of Embrace shortly after Man and Woman, but after discovering a striking resemblance to Bill Brandt’s iconic “Perspectives sur le Nu” (1961), Hosoe suspended production. Years later he completed the series in the studio. While Embrace’s refined aesthetics extracted the essence of Hosoe’s vision, Man and Woman laid the foundation for the dynamic style that has defined all of the artist’s subsequent projects.
Born in 1933 in Yamagata prefecture, the northern part of Japan, Eikoh Hosoe came of age during a volatile social climate when Japan was emerging from postwar trauma and poverty to a renewed sense of prosperity and concomitant identity. He began photography at age fifteen and went on to study at the Tokyo College of Photography. In the mid-and late-50s, the critic Tatsuo Fukushima produced Hosoe’s first exhibition “An American Girl in Tokyo” and continued to promote him in a pivotal group show, “The Eyes of the Ten.” Hosoe’s first critical recognition came when he was awarded New Photographer of the Year by the Japanese Photo Critics Association for “Man and Woman”(1960). His international fame was established by Barakei - Ordeal by Roses (1962) featuring Yukio Mishima and Kamaitachi (1969) featuring Tatsumi Hijikata. Hosoe also directed an experimental film “Navel and A-Bomb” (1960) and worked with Kon Ichikawa on the legendary documentary “Olympic Games in Tokyo” (1965). Hosoe’s work has been internationally exhibited and collected by major national and international institutions. The artist has published over fifty monographs as well as several essays and books about his own photographs. Hosoe is the first Japanese recipient of the Lucy Award (2006) in the “Visionary” category.
Miyako Yoshinaga is proud to present IT’S IN THE CARDS, a group exhibition curated by David Gimbert on view from June 6 through July 20, 2013.
It’s in the Cards is an unusual exhibition that touches all of us by appealing to our playfulness, our relationship to rules, our imagination and our childhood experiences. This exhibition establishes a dialogue between seven upcoming artists who have created a body of work using cards as medium and as subject.
The trick: the artists exploit playing cards, tarot cards, trading cards, scratch cards, or cards of their own creation, to develop a conceptual language and esthetic practice. Intrinsically, the ludic nature of cards bears witness to our need for leisure and escape from reality. Cards operate within three dimensions: visual (their appearance), informational (their function), and meaning (the systems they belong to or create). In this exhibition, the seven artists and their cards offer the viewer an opportunity to reflect on the often too invisible social discourse we are immersed in. They also reveal the different ways we interact among ourselves and with the world of representation. The works selected for It’s in the Cards illustrate the range of possibilities offered by cards as a medium in contemporary art.
The cognitive filter with which we, as viewers, translate symbolism into information depends on our cultural understanding of the structure in which the cards are used. Folk cultures have given birth to game structures using the medium of cards. Though extensively depicted since the Italian Renaissance, cards have seldom been used as a conceptual component in art. It’s in the Cards reveals cards’ unexpected potential.
One of the approaches of It’s in the Cards is the use of cards within a game structure. Either played by oneself or against opponents, cards define a mental activity in relationship with the phenomenon of luck or of a strategic procedure confined within the parameters of rules. Another approach of the exhibition consists in illustrating the attractiveness of the medium of cards as collectible items. This aspect of cards reflects the emotional power they wield through their repeated use or, more recently, their trade.
Finally, It’s in the Cards explores the communicative aspect of cards in several ways: to define the structure and rules within a game system; to convey information forcing the cardholder to make a decision; or to uncover the realms of the occult exposing one’s eventual destiny.
About the artists
The contributing artists of It’s in the Cards have employed a wide range of approaches. Joshua Weibley has adapted Microsoft Windows based Solitaire games. Billy Rennekamp and Scott Goodman have elaborated on the popular 52 card game, Rennekamp on the formal rules of the game and Goodman on its material aspect. Paco Cao has reinvented a deck of tarot card reading. Taylor Shields has created language-based Go Cards. Andrew Graham and Paul Hunter Speagle have redefined collectible cards and instant game rewards.
NEW YORK, February 7, 2013 — Miyako Yoshinaga presents A Survey of Nonexistence at a Glance, a selection of new works by artist Joseph Burwell, on view from February 28 through April 13, 2013. A reception will be held on Thursday, February 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Miyako Yoshinaga is pleased to announce A Survey of Nonexistence at a Glance, the second solo show comprising new drawings and sculpture from Joseph Burwell. This exhibition is based on the idea of altering historical narratives by generating a visual system of architectures from disparate cultures that collide in time and space. A Survey of Nonexistence at a Glance examines the vestiges of a lost architectural period and its cultural byproducts.
Burwell’s singular vision offers a world engineered by a network of realms and technologies, meticulously constructed and superimposed. The effect of architecture and space onto the psychology and emotions of people is pivotal to the artist’s work. His drawings on wood are blueprints for modular structures inspired by ancient sacrificial sites, modernist habitats and medieval fortifications. Research and study of these constructions have given Burwell a unique visual lexicon paving the way for his own architectural semiotics. The function of those edifices is also placed at the center of the artist’s approach. Inherently operational, these systems of forged structures aspire more to raise questions than to give answers.
Using ink, graphite, color pencils, and cutting tools, the artist composes the drawn structures organically, letting them grow and shape similarly to mineral formations. Empty spaces surrounding the constructions serve as a potent transitional environment. The plan site rendered through an isometric perspective, floats amongst other fragments, erased arrangements and expressive color marks. In Burwell’s architectural compositions, details of textures and materials are given a significant importance as they show how the component parts interact with one another. Through the bright coloring of particular structures (e.g. crenels, glass windows, scaffoldings), the artist not only reaches out to the influence of the early Atari games of his childhood, but also introduces an element of playfulness into these otherwise “sinister” architectures. Burwell creates a graphical language bridging subjective impressions and objective facts.
Accompanying the drawings are sections of wooden scaffolding systems supporting various objects and signs. These sculptural frameworks harbor, among other things, a sacrificial office plant and its nourishing fluorescent light, and relate directly to the elements in his drawings that enable mutations. The temporary structures are thereby alchemically transformed into monuments and shrines for unusual myths and ceremonies.
Born in Iceland in 1970 and raised in southwestern Virginia, Joseph Burwell began to study Architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design, but changed his major to Studio Arts and received his bachelors degree at the College of Charleston in 1993. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Tulane University in 1999 and moved to New York in 2000. Since, Burwell has exhibited in New York, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Egypt, Canada, South Korea, and many venues across the U.S. He is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow (Printmaking/Drawing /Artists Books).
Miyako Yoshinaga is located at 547 West 27th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) in New York. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 6pm. For media/press inquiries, please contact David Gimbert at +1 212 268 7132 or email@example.com
Miyako Yoshinaga presents DAWN, an important body of work from Japanese photographer Yu Yamauchi, on view from October 18 through November 22, 2012. Accompanying photobook 'DAWN' is available online.
The gallery is honored to premiere DAWN (2006-2010), Yamauchi’s first major photographic series in the United States. The artist produced DAWN while he lived in a hut on the summit of Mount Fuji five months a year for four years, representing a total of 600 days. Each photograph shown in the exhibition was captured at dawn from the exact same location. By revealing the essence of an airy mystical place, Yamauchi gives us the rare opportunity to experience the incredible spectacle of Earth waking up from the perspective of one of the planet’s most breathtaking scenic points.
Regarded as the most sacred mountain of Japan, Mount Fuji profoundly influences Japanese history, culture and iconography. In art history, Hokusai's 36 Views of Mount Fuji count among the most well known representation of this iconic landmark. With the series DAWN, Yamauchi takes a singular and unique approach by focusing on the sacred landscape from the summit’s vintage point. Essential to the artist is the notion of a physical place situated between earth and the universe; removed from society, Yamauchi reminds us that our planet is part of a boundless extent.
Using traditional film processes, Yamauchi fully renders the depth of colors and complexities of the skies to their fullest potential. Unlike painting or other traditional mediums, photography instantly captures the ever-changing reality set by time. The exhibition revolves around Yamauchi’s spiritual account of the morning sunshine called "goraikō" (御来光) which traditionally means "honorable arrival of light." The series DAWN explores the movement of light and air through the Rorschach test-like renderings of the celestial displays also suggesting the artist’s own Copernican discovery of the universe.
In sharing those spiritual visions of nature, Yamauchi hopes to remind the viewer that we, as conscious humans, are present here and now.
Born in Japan in 1977, Yu Yamauchi is a self-taught fine art photographer. He received honorable mention at the 2008 New Cosmos of Photography (Japan) and 2009 International Photography Award in Fine Art (USA). DAWN series is part of important public and private collections in Japan and the United States.
Yamauchi’s monograph “DAWN ( 夜明け)” first published in 2010 by AKAAKA, almost sold out. The second and redesigned edition was released this past spring. A limited number of autographed copies will be available at the gallery.
Miyako Yoshinaga is located at 547 West 27th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) in New York. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 6pm. For media/press inquiries, please contact David Gimbert at +1 212 268 7132 or firstname.lastname@example.org
この度、MIYAKO YOSHINAGAギャラリーでは、アメリカでの初個展となる山内悠(やまうち・ゆう)の「DAWN（夜明け）」写真展を開催いたします。山内の DAWN（夜明け）シリーズは2006年から2009年にかけ延べ600日にわたり富士山頂の山小屋に滞在し、暗闇から光の世界へと刻々と変容する夜から朝にかけての天空のスペクタクルを撮影し続けた、前人未到のプロジェクトです。
山内悠（やまうち・ゆう）は1977年、兵庫県生まれ。幼い頃より写真に親しみ独学で技術を習得し、2004年より本格的に作品制作を開始します。2008年第31回写真新世紀コンテストで佳作入選を果たし、2009年アメリカのInternational Photography Awardに入選しました。DAWN（夜明け） シリーズは清里フォトアートミュージアムをはじめ日本、中国、アメリカでコレクションされています。2010年に写真集「夜明け」を赤々舎より刊行し、今年3月には改訂版の「夜明け/DAWN」が刊行されました。署名入り写真集は、当ギャラリーで購入できす。
尚11月１日（木）の夜７時より、山内悠のアーティスト・トークを行います。これまで日本各地で行ってきたように、スライドやフィルムなどで同プロジェクトの全容を紹介し、オーディエンスと体験を分かち合います。展覧会・トークの詳細および画像についての問い合わせは電話212 268 7132 またはDavid Gimbert, email@example.com までお願いいたします。
ギャラリーはマンハッタンのチェルシー地区、547 West 27th Street, Suite 204。10番街と11番街の間です。
Miyako Yoshinaga presents Galáxias, a new body of work from Brazilian artist Cleverson Oliveira, on view from September 7 through October 13, 2012. A reception will be held on Thursday, September 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. This is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Oliviera’s new work includes works on canvas, drawings, lithographs, a video, and a site-specific wall installation. Most of the works are black and white, some are surrounded by subtle shades of gray, and all feature a distinctive mix of linear geometry and explosive composition. Conceptually, the artist’s vision stems from the notoriously thorny poems of Haroldo de Campos* entitled Galáxias (1963-1979). Cleverson’s works reflect the fragmented structure of the poetry while insisting on the Neo-Concretist doctrine that the art be subjective and organic. The artist’s version of sacred geometry links mathematical structure to cosmic, psychic, spiritual, and organic experience. These ‘sensorial maps’ reveal spatial and subjective connections relating to macrocosmos and microcosmos, society and individual, abstract and sensorial. Meanwhile, Oliveira’s employment of graphite, permanent marker, and adhesive vinyl demonstrates his belief in the potency of accessible-to-all materials and ideas.
The wall installation entitled Galáxias (Dimetiltriptamina) serves as the exhibition’s principal axis flanked by the recurring hyperspatial interconnections in the surrounding media. In his video piece, Oliveira introduces an organic element into the equation, superimposing his exploding fragments and kaleidoscopic patterns over a traditional musician playing an oud. Science, nature, art, and humanity all become part of an evocative melody as Oliveira uniquely expresses his experience of the world as one interconnected whole.
Cleverson Oliveira (born 1972, Brazil) studied sculpture at the Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná. His work was subject of solo exhibitions at Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Paraná, Museu Joaquim Nabuco, Museu de Fotografia Solar do Barao, and was included in a number of group exhibitions in the United States and Brazil. His work was also shown at Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Pãulo. The artist is represented in prominent collections internationally, including Ruth Kaufmann Collection, Sylvia Martins Collection, Brazil Foundation Art Collection, Fundação Cultural de Curitiba Collection, Guita Soiffer Art Collection.
Oliveira’s past solo exhibitions with Miyako Yoshinaga were "A Frontiers - New York to Rio by Bus - A Journey through the Americas (2006)," “GoldenYears” (2004), and “Cleverlandia” (2002). He currently lives and works in Curitiba, Brazil.
Miyako Yoshinaga is located at 547 West 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in New York. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 6pm. For media/press inquiries, please contact David Gimbert at +1 212 268 7132 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present Five Drops of Dream, the first United States solo exhibition by renowned film director, Milcho Manchevski. The exhibition is on view from June 7 through July 14, 2012, with an opening reception on Thursday, June7, from 6pm to 8pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Milcho Manchevski’s first film Before the Rain (1994) was described by Time magazine as "eerily beautiful” and “stunning,” by Janet Maslin of the New York Times as “sophisticated [and] overwhelming vision," by Roger Ebert as “[a] brilliant directorial debut. Work like this is what keeps me going. A reminder of the nobility that film can attain," by Gene Siskel as "brilliant," by Boston Globe as “bold, hard-hitting, grandly arched, yet intimate and immediate," by the Chicago Tribune as "stunning… work of a filmmaker alive and inventive in every shot he takes." The Washington Post says: "It literally thunders with emotional power." The Toronto Sun: “A profound musing on humanity." The Miami Herald: "Stunning. The sort of remarkable debut that reinstalls faith in the movies’ viability as genuine art. Director Milcho Manchevski has made a debut so astonishingly assured in writing and technique he is guaranteed a footnote in movie history even if he never makes another movie. “
After the success of Before the Rain (the film won an Academy-Award nomination and thirty awards, most importantly Golden Lion for Best Film in Venice, while the New York Times included it in its list of “1,000 Best Films Ever Made”), Manchevski traveled to five continents, relentlessly taking pictures, as the focus of his creative endeavors shifted to photography. His street photography (influenced by the American masters Evans, Frank and Winogrand, as well as Cartier-Bresson) is refracted through the conceptualist experience of the 60s and 70s, and leavened by a healthy dose of humor. Yet, he doesn’t limit himself to any particular genre: nudes, portraits and still-lifes all make appearance. From prosaic moments of everyday life, he creates compositions of sinewy elegance, bridging the gulf between the modern and the old-fashioned, the raw and the sophisticated with a distinctively earthy and warm view of humanity and its underlying social issues.
For Five Drops of Dream, Manchevski has employed a rigorous process of selection, and – more importantly – has combined the selected images into compact compositions of five, assembling 49 groups he calls strings. Each image in each string is chosen to reflect a formal and a narrative moment; and – most significantly – to work with and against the other four photographs in the group to create a unified piece – a string. The photographs within each string interact on several levels (narrative, formal, contextual, objective), contrasting and complementing each other. The result is a lush collection of small, compact units with a vibrant inner dynamic.
Manchevski renders, in his own words, “the explosion of the visual in the mundane moment” and “the wrestle and embrace of the narrative and formal.” “These photographs live only when they are together and when they form strings. Like notes in a song.”
In a 2010 exhibition essay, Zoran Petrovski, the curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Macedonia, explained the magic of Five Drops of Dream thus: “Manchevski uses the entire frame of the photograph to bring equal presence and importance to the seemingly peripheral - at first glance imperceptible - details, which he often additionally emphasizes by means of unusual, askew, crooked or lowered angles of the shot. By means of such dynamic treatment of the composition, Manchevski makes room for his own subjective interpretation of the motiff.” The viewers of Five Drops of Dream sense this deliberately widening focus and ambiguity in each of the five images, which leads to them inventing their own stories by filling the gaps using their own imagination.
Milcho Manchevski was born in Macedonia (then part of Yugoslavia). After receiving his degree at the Department of Cinema and Photography, Southern Illinois University, he wrote and directed the feature films Before the Rain (1994), Dust (2001), Shadows (2007) and Mothers (2010), 50 short forms, including Tennessee for Arrested Development (1991) and 1.73, and directed on HBO’s The Wire. His films were distributed theatrically, on video and on TV in over 50 countries, and have close to 300 festival screenings. Mothers will screen at the Pratt Institute’s Manhattan campus on June 4.
Manchevski’s films are part of the curricula at numerous universities worldwide; the University of Leipzig (Germany) and the European University Institute in Florence (Italy) hosted academic conferences dedicated to his films. He has lectured at a number of universities, cinematheques, art museums and art institutes, most notably as a Head of the Directing Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Graduate Film program. His fiction, essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in New American Writing, La Repubblica, Corriere Della Sera, Sineast, The Guardian, Suddeutsche Zeitung and Pravda. He has authored a (very small) book of fiction, The Ghost of My Mother (1985-2000) and an (even smaller) essay-book Truth and Fiction: Notes on (Exceptional) Faith in Art (Punctum Books, 2012). Manchevski’s two books of photographs, Street (1999) and Five Drops of Dream (2011), accompany the two photo exhibitions.
Five Drops of Dream is the subject of the currently traveling solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary art in Macedonia (2011), the National Gallery in Bulgaria (2012), the Museum of Contemporary art in Novi Sad (2011) and Kuturni Centar Beograda, Serbia (2012). It is is also included in the fifth edition of GRID Photo Biennial, Amsterdam, (2012) from this May to July. Beteen 1999 and 2006, his solo show Street was seen in France, Italy, Sweden, Slovenia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Greece and Macedonia. Manchevski has staged post-conceptual performance art with the group 1AM (which he founded) and by himself.
Contact: email@example.com TEL + 1 212 268 7132
 This exhibition shows 18 strings.
Paranormal Nightlight is Hammer’s 8th one-person exhibition in New York and his second with MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects. As in his last show at the gallery, Hammer continues to use non-explicit imagery arising from his ongoing exploration of violent acts in Lithuania during WWII, specifically the massacre in Kovno that took place the night the Germans entered the city in 1941.
Victimology, always a concern in Jonathan Hammer’s work, is revealed through his singular use of childhood references such as toys, clowns, and monsters as narrative tools. Hammer gives us a universe inhabited by stuffed animals and their counterparts, the bogey men who lurk under the bed. The paranormal events unfold under cover of night, but a child’s nightlight illuminates the psychological terror and abuse. Hammer’s vocabulary of extremes: power/powerlessness; master/slave; victim/victimizer; innocence/culpability; maniac/seer, as well as the artist’s reflexive role in this entire mess, is as vividly evoked in this exhibition as it has been throughout his work.
Paranormal Nightlight includes pastels on paper, an installation on slate, and Hammer’s first exhibited canvases. He further inquires into perversity through the use of exotic skins such as stingray, frog, shark, cow stomach and duck foot, creating an open-ended sculpture of the night sky, a portion of which will also be on display.
A parallel exhibition of Hammer’s two projects; Kovno – Kobe referencing the 1941 massacres in Lithuania and a Japanese diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews, and Tarnish and Shine – Silverpoints, the artist’s retrospective in this medium, will be shown at the Derfner Judaica Museum and The Art Collection at the The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York.
Jonathan Hammer is an American artist living in Spain. For 25 years his work has crossed the boundaries of various media and techniques using exotic materials such as skins and porcelain and including books, works on paper (pastels, silverpoints), installation, sculpture, standing screens, photographs and prints. Hammer has had 40 one-person exhibitions (including eight in New York, five of them with Matthew Marks Gallery) in eight countries, and museum surveys at the Geneva Center for Contemporary Art and the Berkeley Museum. His work is included in public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum. Hammer is an authority on Dada and has published his critical writing on the subject in “Ball and Hammer,” Yale University Press, 2002.
For inquires/requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or tel. +1 212 268 7132.
The gallery will present part of Hammer’s Galaxia series at PUSLE New York, May 3-6, booth B14.
Following last year's participation in IMPULSE, We are participating in PUSLE New York 2012 from May 3 to May 6.
Our featured artists include JOSEPH BURWELL (drawing/print), CAROLYN SWISZCZ (painting), VOSHARDT/HUMPHREY (video/photography), JONATHAN HAMMER (drawing/sculpture), and HANS BENDA (painting).
PULSE New York The Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street Chelsea, New York, NY 10011
Thursday May 3
9am-12pm Press and VIP Private Preview hosted by art net Auctions
12pm- 8pm General admission
9am-10am Private VIP Hour
10am-8pm General admission
Saturday May 5
12pm-8pm General admission
Sunday May 6
12pm-5pm General admission
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present Shades of the Departed, a solo exhibition featuring new photography and video work by Takahiro Kaneyama.
Following SHUMAFURA, his 2009 exhibition at the gallery, Takahiro Kaneyama creates transcendent photographic reflections on one of the holiest sites in northern Japan, Mt. Osore. According to traditional Japanese lore, this active volcano—whose name means “Mount Fear”—is the gateway to Hell, through which the souls of the deceased must pass on their way to the underworld. Every summer, this mythical place attracts many visitors who seek to remember and console the departed souls of their loved ones.
Each of the seven large color photographs in Shades of the Departed reveals a different mood of this foreboding landscape, which features a white, sandy shoreline that separates Heaven from Hell. The wild and rocky stretches evoke despair, while the calm lake water and early-summer sky exude a melancholic purity. From a distance, fresh flower bouquets placed on the Heaven side by pilgrims look like bathers lying on the beach. Up close, white and yellow mums and pink carnations, beaten and dehydrated, acutely express the fragility and transience of life. In one striking image, a row of colorful toy pinwheels stand at attention on the beach against a bluish background of mountain, sea and sky. Placed there for those who died as children, these pinwheels make otherworldly screeching sounds that can even be heard from far away. Kaneyama invites us to experience these enigmatic sounds, which still linger in his mind, in a video presented on three small monitors juxtaposed with his photographs.
Shades of the Departed quietly yet powerfully addresses universal themes that go beyond a particular culture or faith, exploring the trajectory of life, from birth to death. Just before shooting this series, Kaneyama travelled to the northeast coasts of Japan, which were struck by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in March 2011, for a New York Times Magazine photo assignment. Having seen the unimaginable destruction that caused so much loss of life, he gradually moved from emotional distress and fatigue to the spiritual embrace of Mt. Osore. Kaneyama’s work refers less to the departed and their afterlife than those who survive and their continued duties and responsibilities in this life. This pragmatism anchors the ephemeral beauty in Shades of the Departed.
Born in Tokyo in 1971, Takahiro Kaneyama came to New York and studied film at the City College of New York, earned an MFA in Photography and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts and then studied documentary photography at the International Center of Photography. The recipient of several photo awards, Kaneyama has exhibited in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, Milwaukee and Zurich. His work has been reviewed and reproduced by the New York Times, ARTnews, DART Design Art Daily and Wraparound Magazine. Following the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, Kaneyama issued five benefit photo prints of northern Japan from his SHUMAFURA series (2008). All proceeds went to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, which was set up by New York’s Japan Society Inc. to help victims of the disaster.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present Plato/Pineapple, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Emna Zghal. The exhibition is on view from February 2 through March 10, 2012, with an opening reception on Thursday, February 2, from 6pm to 8pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Following Against Reason, her 2009 exhibition at the gallery, Emna Zghal further asserts her interest in poetry, beauty and formal invention in this new exhibition Plato/Pineapple, which presents prints and drawings from her 2010 artist’s book: Plato Pineapple Poetry Painting. In it, she draws a parallel between Plato’s urge to banish poets from his Ideal City that is run by reason, and a contemporary art establishment that has seemingly expunged poetry from its discourse. In the accompanying essay of her new book published for this exhibition, Zghal questions the subversion often touted by contemporary art institutions as a validating quality of art. Can art be subversive (i.e., can it undermine authority) when it is the authorities themselves who put out such claims? Zghal affirms the role of the artist-poet to dream outside of the world of reason.
Zghal’s latest daydream is the pineapple, which becomes a visual thread in the prints and drawings of this exhibition. In expanding her interest in the infinite extension and unpredictability of organic patterns, Zghal focuses on an intriguing morphological study that utilizes her observation and unique approaches. She discovers that a pineapple is made of berries that join together to the core, which inspires her to carefully distinguish individual berries in her work. To create Pineapple Sun, a large print featuring two overlaid pineapple slices with dense fibers, Zghal scans a thin slice of the fruit, traces it digitally and then transfers it to a silkscreen/etching using condensed milk and salt. It is through such innovative and tactical processes that Zghal effectively explores not only a heightened sense of materiality but also a new level of biomorphic visual poetry.
Emna Zghal is a Tunisian-born visual artist based in New York. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and Tunisia. She is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts & Letters Purchase Award (New York); the First Prize of the Art of Tunis Salon 1995 (Tunis); the Republic's Prize for Best Young Artist (Tunisia); fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center (Blue Mountain, New York); Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Weir Farm Trust (Wilton, CT) and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT); and residencies from the Newark Art Museum (Newark, NJ) and the Centre des Arts Vivants (Radès, Tunisia). Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, ARTnews and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her portfolio of prints The Prophet of Black Folk was acquired by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY. Other works are part of the collections at the New York Public Library, Yale University, the Museum for African Art, NY, as well as Grinnell College, IA.
On Thursday February 23, 6:30 – 8pm, the gallery will host a special program featuring a dialogue between Emna Zghal and Lisa Binder, Curator at the Museum for African Art, on the recent cultural and social uprising in Tunisia, where Zghal visited last May/June.
Works in Plato/Pineapple and the publication of the book were made possible by a grant from the Creative Capital Foundation (NY), an organization that provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects. For inquires/requests, please contact email@example.com and/or tel. +1 212 268 7132.
Opening Reception, December 15, 2011, 6-8PM
Project Room - a new photography series by Hiroshima-born New York-based photography artist.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present SUPERNATUREAL, a group exhibition that includes work by Osamu James Nakagawa, Ingo Günther, Terry Taylor, Yu Yamauchi and the collaborative team Robyn Voshardt & Sven Humphrey. In Project Room, we feature Landscape 2011; gelatin silver prints by Yojiro Imasaka.
The exhibition is on view from December 15, 2011, through January 28, 2012. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. The gallery will be closed on December 24 and January 31, in addition to our regular holidays.
Representations of natural landscapes-hills and valleys, mountains and canyons, lakes and oceans-are not only inspiring, but also intuitively understood. Throughout history, our interpretations of the natural landscape have shaped our social and cultural terrain. The artists of SUPERNATUREAL challenge conventional landscape photography by exploring sublime images of nature through both artists' expeditions and an interest in extreme image-making processes.
Osamu James Nakagawa presents a striking vertical image of the so-called "Suicide Cliffs" in Okinawa. Many civilians chose to jump hundreds of feet into the ocean from these cliffs (called "banta" in the Okinawan language) to avoid being captured by American forces prior to and during the World War II Battle of Okinawa in 1945. These hyper-real, highly detailed images of the cliffs were digitally photographed and then seamlessly put together. Based on his own experience of "standing between fear and beauty," Nakagawa's "Banta" series (2006) portrays the cliffs as quiet yet powerful witnesses of a tragic history.
Ingo Günther's "Topography Drive" series (2005/2006) generates a unique perspective on the entire Pacific Rim at the scale of 1:1700.000. At 4 inches high and 500 feet long, this particular rendering of radar-generated elevation model data translates into a dimension that breaks the confines of a traditional gallery or museum space. As a synthetic recreation of the horizon's shape, these works reveal skeleton-like silhouettes of the mountain ranges that look fragile yet beautiful. This iteration of the work, part of a multi-year on-site investigation of the Japanese coastline and environmental defense structures, features opposite sides of the Pacific paired together: Japan's east coast and America's west coast.
London-based Terry Taylor looks for a particular scene in remote places in England's Lake District by walking. He chooses a scene because he perceives it as a cultural response to the idea of "nature," which includes ideas of idyll and ownership, experiential aesthetics and the timeless perspective of geological history. Seamlessly constructed from multiple images, Taylor's work favors distorted perspectives, bending peripheral vision to fit the flat picture plane. In his large-scale print, detail re-enforces references to romantic and sublime landscape painting.
Tokyo-based Yu Yamauchi completed his first major photography series "Dawn" (2006-2009) after spending 600 days at 10,000 feet above sea level at Mt. Fuji. A square-shaped format representing a window or traditional canvas reveals the astonishing colors and patterns of the ever-changing "empty" space between earth and sky. The clouds, both reflecting and absorbing light while constantly changing shapes, fuel the imagination like Rorschach tests in the sky. Some works, in a reversed position, seem like extraterrestrial scenes, suggesting Yamaguchi's own Copernican discovery in interpreting these transcendent images.
Robyn Voshardt / Sven Humphrey have teamed up to create both still and moving photographic images. Presented here are two videos: "Eternal Return" (2009), in which five different viewpoints of the same waterfall are shown continuously and endlessly; and "Sunshower" (2011), which investigates the meteorological phenomenon after which the work is named. Filmed from an extreme height to create an omniscient view, both works are about extremes: rising and falling; cultural projections vs. personal observations of the landscape; beauty and tragedy; calm and violence.
Osamu James Nakagawa is an associate professor of photography at the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University whose works have been exhibited across the United States and Japan. Ingo Günther has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. His works have been exhibited around the world, including Nationalgalerie Berlin, Venice Biennale, Documenta, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, the Guggenheim Museum and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Terry Taylor lives and works in London, United Kingdom, and graduated from High Wycombe College of Art and Design, Durham University and Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. Yu Yamauchi is a self-taught photographer and received honorable mention at the International Photography Awards. He published his first book, Yoake (dawn), in 2010. Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey have collaborated on video, sound and photo-based projects since meeting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their works have been exhibited and screened at galleries and fairs internationally. Originally from Hiroshima, Yojiro Imasaka graduated from Pratt Institute Fine Arts Department, New York. He has exhibited his work in Tokyo and New York since 2007.
“Thin places,” the Celts call this space, Both seen and unseen, Where the door between the world, And the next is cracked open for a moment, And the light is not all on the other side. -- excerpt from “Thin Places,” by Sharlande Sledge
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present A Thin Place, an exhibition of new works by CarolynSwiszcz. This is the artist’s fourth solo presentation at the gallery. The exhibition is on view from October 27 through November 30, 2011, with an opening reception on Thursday, October 27, from 6-8pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
There is Celtic saying, “Heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.” In this new body of work, Carolyn Swiszcz considers these places where, according to Sylvia Maddox, co-author of the book Praying with the Celtic Saints, “the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.”
In paintings that the artist says “depict what I have felt to be ‘thin places’ encountered on recent travels,” various public places like the Whitney Museum of Art in New York or the Shidoni Sculpture Garden in Santa Fe are rendered in layered patchworks of gritty, muted tones offset by a few Day-Glo bursts, revealing a mulitfaceted approach to painting that incorporates drawing and printmaking techniques.
Though her sites of interest are popular tourist attractions, Swiszcz is more concerned with the creeping anxiety such locations engender when devoid of people or close to it. In “Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library,” for example, the few visitors are dwarfed by the massive open interior of the monumental building. In “Mall, Santa Fe,” a desolate mall food court is populated by a disarray of chairs and tables, while some of the horses of an unused carousel are represented as mysteriously blank outlines, as if they have leapt out of the scene. These works exude a liminal, apperceptive state, a feeling heightened by the overall flatness of the picture plane, upon which washed-out pigments bleed and coalesce in an unsettled, nebulous haze.
Recalling the alienation of the deserted streets of Hopper and De Chirico, or even the insignificance of the Lilliputian figures swallowed up by Corot’s hulking landscapes, Swiszcz sardonically illustrates the almost cartoon-like impotence of contemporary culture to save us from the unyielding indifference of both nature and architecture. For Swiszcz, “thin places” are not necessarily filled with glorious experiences. “Admittedly, what passes for a thin place in my world is thick, clunky and melancholy,” she says. “When the veil gets lifted, I am more often presented with a feeling like a pleasant kind of dread rather than something divine.”
Carolyn Swiszcz lives and works in West St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work is currently on display as part of Binocular City, a two-person show with artist Karen Brummund at the Johnson Gallery at Bethel University, St. Paul, MN. She has had solo exhibitions at Wendy Cooper Gallery, Chicago, IL; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN; and Shonandai MY Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Her work has also been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN; the Drawing Center, New York, NY; Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY; and Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA. She is the recipient of several awards, including fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. Her work has been featured in Art in America, The Boston Globe, New American Paintings and NY Arts and is represented in the Microsoft Art Collection and at the Minnesota Historical Society. She received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Reception & silent auction, Thursday, Oct. 20, 6-9PM
Now through Oct. 20 bid at www.32auctions.com
Auction ID: tillallisgreen / Auction Password: japan
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present Till All Is Green, a special art exhibition on view from October 12 through October 22, with a silent auction and musical tributes on Thursday, October 20. All proceeds from this event will go to help children who have been affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and its aftermath.
Taking place in the prime of the fall art season and commemorating the past seven months of the disaster in Japan, Till All Is Green features over forty artworks donated by both internationally known and emerging artists, including Yoko Ono, Mariko Mori, Ingo Günther, Ellen Levy, Kunie Sugiura and Nobuho Nagasawa. During the event, Naoto Nakagawa creates ink portraits of donors in the same way he produces portraits of survivors and relief workers. The up-to-date list of participating artists/donors is continued on the second page.
The works in the exhibition/auction will directly and indirectly address the restoration and rebirth of the devastated community and natural landscape. In light of the nuclear crisis, our artists respond in support of clean, renewable and ecologically safe energy. “Green” in the title symbolizes our hope for a better and healthier future. The artworks and other auction items are viewable online at www.32auctions.com (auction name: tillallisgreen, password: japan). Online bids will be accepted October 5 through October 19.As a highlight of our two-week fundraising effort, an on-site silent auction will take place on October 20, 6-8pm, followed by a special benefit concert by pianist Margaret Leng Tan, “the queen of the toy piano.” — The New York Times (suggested contribution $25) from 8-9pm. Audio/visual artist León Grauer will contribute a performance and prayer.
Proceeds of the sale/auction/performance will go to ChildFund International, a non-profit organization that serves children in need throughout the world. Currently, the organization is focusing its efforts on helping children cope with the stress and symptoms of traumatic experiences of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. ChildFund has been actively engaged on psychosocial childcare and grief counseling, and has created principal care manuals based on the experience of children following the September 11 attacks.
Till All Is Green is supported by Consulate General of Japan in New York, Sylph Editions, Pinetree Group, CLV Art Services and other organizations and individuals.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is located at 547 West 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue, New York City. For further information, please contact 212 268 7132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Till All Is Green” Participating Artists/Donors (alphabetical order, as of Sept. 27, 201
Emi Anrakuji / Takako Azami / Hans Benda / Simone Bergantini / Joseph Burwell / Alexandra Catiere / Cleverson / Margaret Cogswell / Erika DeVries / Rodney Dickson / Yana Dimitrova / José Luis Fariñas / Farrell and Parkin / León Grauer / Ingo Günther / Heide Hatry / Pouran Jinchi / Takahiro Kaneyama / Nils Karsten / Mayumi Lake / Marc Lepson / Ellen K. Levy / Rita MacDonald / Conor McGrady / Kaoru Maki / Maria Morganti / Mariko Mori / Nobuho Nagasawa / Osamu James Nakagawa / Hiroyuki Nakamura / Yuko Oda / Yoko Ono / Shigeru Oyatani / Babs Reingold / Carol Rosenwald / Harold Krisel / Keiko Sadakane / Megumi Sasaki / Michael Scoggins / Yuri Shimojo / Kunie Sugiura / Jeanne Susplugas / Miho Suzuki / Carolyn Swiszcz / Margaret Leng Tan / Megumi Tomomitsu / Lin Yan / Tsukasa Yokozawa / Victoria Vesna / Voshardt + Humphrey / Emna Zghal
For further information, please contact Miyako Yoshinaga at 212 268 7132 or email email@example.com.
レセプション＆サイレント・オークション １０月２0日（木）5- 9PM
チェルシーの現代美術ギャラリー MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects では、来たる10月中旬の10日間、東日本大震災で被災した子供たちへの支援を目的とするチャリティ展覧会Till All Is Green (すべて緑になる日まで) を行います。
Till All Is Green (すべて緑になる日まで) と題するように、この展覧会は、破壊されたコミュニティや土地・自然の再生、福島原発事故により切望されているクリーン・エネルギーの実現、そして過去の失敗と現在の葛藤を乗り越えより良い将来に対する希望を意味する「緑」をテーマにかかげました。
Till All Is Green (すべて緑になる日まで) はマンハッタンのチェルシー地区547 West 27th Streetのギャラリーおよび特設スペースを利用して、秋のアート・シーズン最中の１０月１２日から１０月２２日まで行われます。本展のハイライトとして、10月20日（木）6-9 PMにはレセプションとサイレント・オークションを行います。7:30PMより被災地写真のスライド・ショーや音楽家によるパフォーマンスも催される予定です。
なお、本イベントはニューヨーク日本総領事館の後援のほか、複数の団体および個人の方々の支援を受けております。詳細については、212 268 7132またrelief@miyakoyoshinaga.comまでお問い合わせください。
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present A Decent Life, an exhibition of new work by Emi Anrakuji.
This is the artist’s third solo presentation at the gallery. The exhibition is on view from September 8 through October 8, 2011, with an artist reception on Thursday, September 15, from 6pm to 8pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
In A Decent Life, a new series of over forty photographs, Tokyo-based artist Emi Anrakuji continues her cinematic investigation of voyeuristic dream-states. As in her past work, the photographs feature the artist as subject. But unlike her previous series, in which she interspersed various timeframes and locations, this new work presents several sets of a defined time and place, giving the collection a distinctive narrative quality. As a result, the series has a stylistic resemblance to cinema stills, with each photograph capturing a fleeting frame from a world that exists somewhere between the real world and fantasy. In particular, the black & white photographs, which were shot at night, exude a mysterious, foreboding quality that recalls both the film noir and horror genres.
“I live in two worlds,” says Anrakuji, describing both her dual position as artist and subject as well as her interest in the space where reality and fiction meet. “Both are chaotic, uncertain, pathetically painful and utterly decent.”
Using her own body as a catalyst for narrative exploration, Anrakuji illustrates two worlds in A Decent Life — day and night. Under a bright beam of sunlight or shrouded in dim streetlight, the artist crouches amid empty bus seats, drinks from a tiny medicine bottle and wanders through the streets, wraithlike, in a white dress. Ambiguity reigns supreme in the enigmatic and eroticized world that Anrakuji has constructed. In some images, her ritualistic gestures evoke the behavior of a spirit medium, channeling the realm of the mystical, the alchemical and the paranormal.
In training her lens on herself as a meticulously crafted persona existing in a subliminal state, Anrakuji negotiates a chaotic, emotional and ultimately sensual terrain that is governed more by intuition and subconscious desire than by logic or necessity, presenting a surrogate for a person caught between worlds, meandering through strange yet oddly familiar environments that for all intents and purposes, may very well have been concocted in a dream.
Emi Anrakuji (b. 1963) lives and works in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied oil painting at Musashino University of Art and Music. In the early 1980s, she was diagnosed with a cerebral tumor. During her recovery and a decade-long hiatus, she taught herself photography. Since 2001, her award-winning work been exhibited extensively across Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work has been reviewed by several notable publications, including C-International Photo Magazine and X-funs. Nazraeli Press has published several monographs, including ANRAKUJI, e-hagaki and IPY. In 2012, they will publish her previous series, CHASM, which was exhibited at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects in 2009.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present in our summer group show Interior four artists, Satomi Shirai, Simone Bergantini, Rita MacDonald, and Anders Ruhwald, who explore the emotional influences that the décor and architecture of a room hold on its inhabitants, what Christopher Alexander and other proponents of Organic Architecture would call it’s “aliveness.” In light of mainstream’s desire for commercial modernist design and sleek, minimalist styling architecture, in which hand crafted design has given way to sterile formalism and rationalism, these distinct artists create evocative interior spaces that explore the emotional undercurrents that inform the “interior.”
Juxtaposing photos of her apartment with hand-made dollhouses replete with miniature furniture and commodities, Satomi Shirai’s work investigates the psychological act of creating spaces that merge the tangible, physical place and the intangible, experienced one. The resulting photo and photo-sculpture present skewed, uncanny narratives based on the artist's memories.
The photo series Seminario Sull'infantazia ("Seminar on Childhood") by Simone Bergantini documents old abandoned factories in the suburbs of Italy’s largest cities, homes to illegal immigrants, drug addicts, the homeless, and children at play. Instead of representational depictions, Bergantini chooses to let the domestic space and its incongruous trappings tell the story of denied childhood.
Rita MacDonald applies common home improvement materials, wall paint and the plaster-like drywall compound, directly onto wall surfaces to create warped or undulating decorative patterns. Interested in pattern for its relationship to the experience of place and memory, MacDonald constructs optical illusions of pattern moving in space that interact with the architecture of the wall.
Originally trained as a traditional kiln ceramicist in Denmark, Anders Ruhwald appropriates the medium of functional pottery to create off-kilter, inutile ceramic sculptures bearing superficial semblance to otherwise functional objects. Their surfaces are hand-modeled into uneven, globular exteriors, simultaneously suggesting their relegation to the manipulation of human hands, and rendering the sculptures dehumanized furnishings, which can no longer be encountered by the human body.
Opening Reception, June 2, Thursday, 6-8PM
We are pleased to present recent works by artist Yana Dimitrova. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 2, 6-8 pm.
The title of the show, Tomorrow & Tomorrow, references a line from Macbeth by William Shakespeare, which contemplates the banality and insignificance of life. In her paintings and installations, Dimitrova portrays the mundane patterns and structures of everyday experience in order to critique the self-reverential nature of one's desires.
The series of paintings, “I Love Life and Life Loves Me,” is based on a Bulgarian popular YouTube music video. After watching the clip repeatedly, Dimitrova painted some of the stills off the computer screen. The paintings depict the ideals presented by the singer in the video, who has everything he desires from life. The blurry out-of-focus treatment combined with a cool color palette conveys a vacant, artificial environment.
Dimitrova’s landscapes counter the capitalist dream of monetary gain and opportunity for all. In one painting, highway billboards are whitewashed signifying an absence of opportunity. In another, the Coex Mall in Seoul, Korea - one of the largest malls in the world - is eerily empty. When stripped of the barrage of advertising that shapes modern man’s desires, what remains is literally a hollow monument to consumer culture.
The installation, “The Greatest Achievements,” is a larger-than-life checklist that borrows symbols from a smart-phone organizational tool. Brighter checkboxes suggest urgency, and darker ones define more common day-to-day tasks. The piece represents the cyclical process of proposing a task, creating a box, achieving the task, checking the box, and adding new tasks. In addition, it shows that the checkbox is in fact the task itself, which by its creation is simultaneously achieved, suggesting the ineffectuality of daily activity. Thus Tomorrow & Tomorrow questions the proposed values of everyday experiences, presenting liminal sites in which a sense of self and the possibility for happiness are impossible.
Yana Dimitrova is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts “Acd. Iliya Petrov” in Sofia, Bulgaria (2002). She received her BFA (2006) and MFA (2008) from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Her most recent exhibits took place in Berlin, Budelsdorff (Germany), Bath, Manchester (UK), New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta (USA) and Sofia (Bulgaria). Dimitrova currently lives and works in New York, NY. For images: http://miyakoyoshinaga.com/artists/Yana_Dimitrova
From May 5 through June 2nd, 2011, Erika deVries' latest neon sculpture "Beautiful Things" is on display at Hugo Boss store at Manhattan's Meatpacking District (401 West 14th St).
Recently on the subway, a woman psychic told the artist; "I see many good things around you, call me" and handed deVries her card. Grateful and wondrous at her kind words, deVries has translated the experience into "Beautiful Things" a new neon work for the windows at Hugo Boss.
Aglow in neon and written in the artist's 7 year old son's hand, "Beautiful Things" crystallizes the moment when language, meaning and experience coalesce. The artist invites you to participate in the piece and to photograph yourself and loved ones standing within "Beautiful Things". She would like to remind us that photography is writing with light. deVries' other neon work "Our Infinite Capacity For Love" was last seen at her 2010 solo exhibition "An Enlarged Heart" at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA.
Erika deVries is a mother, artist, lady in love, professor, fairy tale teller/reader/believer, thread thief, and mundanity expert.
We are pleased to present The Judgement of History, a series of new drawings by Irish born artist Conor McGrady.
Since early adulthood Conor McGrady became convinced of the need for art to interrogate social and political realities. The artists who inspired him did not shirk away from depicting the ritualized violence and trauma that often besieged their everyday lives. Inheriting the aspirations of artists from Goya to the Neue Sachlichkeit, McGrady’s body of work focuses on the psychology of power in modern society.
The Judgement of History explores the role of authority and how it translates into symbols, iconography, and the self-conception of individuals and nation states. Large-scale gouache drawings depict figures of iconic stature situated within modernist and neo-classical architecture. In these works, groups of anonymous, mostly male figures perform social rituals as a unit in a joint effort against an unseen enemy, or they participate in a collective triumph over unseen victims. The white background and surrounding space, as well as the minimalist treatment of architecture imparts a distilled view of places that visually corresponds to political censorship and the state removal of dissidents, ideas or practices. Smaller works explore contemporary society’s fascination with power and status. In these, the relationship of the artist to the state comes under scrutiny, as does the architecture of government buildings, which functions as an ambiguous signifier of imagined permanence and stability, yet change and transition at the same time. A single work depicting a barricade serves as a reminder that not only political reality, but history itself, remains contested space.
McGrady’s work reprocesses the traditions of portraiture and history painting alongside fascist aesthetics and socialist realism. As with his previous work, these drawings raise questions on the various manifestations of social order, and on the control of space, personal and national boundaries.
Conor McGrady was born in Downpatrick in N. Ireland, and lives and works in New York City. He earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. Besides being exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, his work has been shown in a number of US and European institutions including White Columns, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Gallery Karas, Zagreb, Croatia. He is editor of Curated Spaces, a regular feature in the journal Radical History Review.
We'd like to extend a big thank you to all our donors!
We are happy to announce that as of May 1, 2011, we have raised the sum of $5,300 by offering Takahiro Kaneyama's benefit photo prints of Northern Japan to 40 donors. The proceeds went to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund set up by New York's Japan Society inc. to help victims. Together with Mr. Kaneyama, we would like to thank our donors for their generous supports. We are proud to be part of a united fundraising effort in New York art community. We are also planning a benefit exhibition & online auction this fall. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our New York-based Japanese-born artist Takahiro Kaneyama has donated 5 of his 2008 photographs of seaside villages of Northern Japan, the region severely destroyed by 3/11/11 earthquake and tsunami. To raise funds for ongoing relief efforts for those who lost everything, please consider purchasing Kaneyama's benefit print (images A to E below) for $60 each. Any combination of more than 2 prints, $50 x quantity. Handling & Shipping $5 within USA / $10 overseas is additional. Local pickup is welcome. 100 % of the proceeds will go to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund set up by Japan Society, Inc, NYC.
Donation can be done entirely online, so please take steps 1 & 2 now!
Please click each title to see the images.
A. Fishing Boat Flags, image 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm), sheet 11 x 8.5 in. (28 x 23 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
B. Man by the Shore, image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
C. Squid Fishing Boat, image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
D. Seaweed Picker, image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
E. Man On the Boat, image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
1) Which print (A, B, C, D, E) and how many.
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この救援基金プロジェクトは2011年5月1日を持ちまして終了いしたしました。この間、40名の方々のご協力により5300ドルの売上金をニューヨーク市のジャパンソサエティー/日本大地震救援基金(Japan Earhquake Relief Fund)に寄付いたしました。私どもでは今年９月に別のかたちでも救援金のプロジェクトを行う予定です。お問い合わせはrelief@miyakoyoshinaga.comまたは電話212 268 7132にて受け付けております。皆様のご協力に厚く感謝いたします。
A. 大漁旗 (Fishing Boat Flags), image 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm), sheet 11 x 8.5 in. (28 x 23 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
B. 岸辺の男、大槌町 (Man by the shore), image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
C. いか釣り船 (Squid Fishing Boat) image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
D. 海藻を拾う人 (Seaweed Picker), image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
E. 船上の男 (Man On the Boat ), image 5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8cm), sheet 8.5 x 11 in. (22 x 28 cm), archival pigment print, A.P.
売上金は100％、ニューヨーク市のジャパンソサエティー/日本大地震救援基金(Japan Earhquake Relief Fund)へ寄付されます。
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MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present The Night Is Still Young, an exhibition by Tokyo- and Los Angeles-based photography artist Tomoaki Hata. The exhibition will run from March 10 to April 9, 2011. The opening and book-launching party will be held Thurdsday, March 10, 6-8PM.
In recent news headlines, Japan, once Asia’s economic superpower, has been portrayed as having lost its edge. Meanwhile, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s it became home to a vigorous burst of self-expression by one of the most secretive subcultures of Japanese society. Gender-bending men and women, who in their day-to-day lives conform to societal norms, began to gather weekly at small nightclubs in the gay district of Osaka to cut loose and be themselves. The epicenter of this phenomenon was a bar called Explosion, where radically creative, smart, and witty drag queens combined art and activism in a talent show format.
In 1996, Hata, then a college student, began documenting these exuberant late-night parties and continued to do so until 2004. Now considered a rare chronicle of the nation’s first drag queen movement, these photographs were edited as a monograph entitled The Night is Still Young and published both in Japanese (Akaakasha) and English (powerHouse Books) in 2010. Our exhibition follows on the heel of its Tokyo debut last October and presents a selection of 25 images that highlight the movement’s heyday in the early 2000s.
The glamour and self-assurance of Hata’s drag queens, both on and off-stage, come to life in these color photographs, but along with the glitter, Hata also shows the seedy side of the life and explores moments of loneliness and despair. Like Boogie, a street photographer he admires, Hata gives himself up to the stream of happenings, observing the outrageous, out-of-control crowd with calm affection. Interspersed with the high-energy photographs of partiers and onlookers, Hata zeros in on an intimate portrayal of a male couple (originally shot for the City of Osaka’s safe-sex campaign). The Night Is Still Young provides an ardent testimony of the time, through which we may glimpse not only the make-believe extravaganza but also the poignant humanity underlying this obscure world.
Born in 1974, Tomoaki Hata works primarily in Los Angeles and Tokyo. After more than ten years of education in law, sociology, media studies, cultural studies, and art criticism in Japan, Hata began his career as a photographer, shooting Japan’s groundbreaking HIV/AIDS benefit dance parties as well as for Japan’s gay porn industry. Hata’s photography is part of the Collection Lambert in Avignon, France and is included in other private collections worldwide.
@Metropolitan Pavilion | 125 West 18th Street, New York
March 3, 10am -1pm Press and Private Preview
March 3, 1pm - 8pm
March 4&5, 12 noon - 8pm
March 6, 12 noon - 5pm
From March 3 to 6, 2011, we are pleased to present Joseph Burwell at Booth I-11 at IMPULSE section of PULSE New York, the art fair held at Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th st. bet. 6th & 7th Ave. Our booth is located on the second floor of the Pavilion.
Following his 2009 gallery installation with the same title, Joseph Burwell reconstructs an environment based on his former studio, a converted garage in Brooklyn, New York. The result is a carefully staged artist’s workshop referred to as School of the Viking Spaniard: Reconstruction of the Garage which plays off his half-Puerto Rican heritage and Icelandic birthplace. It's phrasing uses the language of art history to obscure both the era and the authorship.
On walls, shelves, and sawhorses, an array of Burwell’s artwork is displayed, along with maps, photographs, tools and other artifacts. For his color drawings intensely executed with pencil and marker pen, Burwell fuses miscellaneous historical and archeological information from different cultures and religions. His sculptural forms reflect his interest in negative architecture and compliment the spaces in his drawings. While it’s true that the remnants of archeological information are often used to help reconstruct history, they may also be used to invent it. It is through this misinterpretation that Burwell eliminates established hierarchies and composes his potential stories.
Burwell’s installation, with bright colors, clashing patterns and absurdist sensibilities, demonstrates his surreal sense of humor over the more serious topics of religious and cultural identities. At the same time, his makeshift studio in a gallery space signifies both the vitality and vulnerability of contemporary artists who, like Vikings or Spaniards, without knowing it themselves, might well be creating their legacies for future historians or archeologists.
Joseph Burwell (b.1970) began to study Architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design in 1988. He received his B.A. in Studio Arts in 1993 from the College of Charleston. In 1999, Burwell received his M.F.A. in Sculpture from Tulane University in New Orleans, and in 2000 he moved to New York City. He has participated in residencies at The Cooper Union, PS 122 Project Studio Program and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program. Burwell has shown in New York, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Egypt and Canada among others. New York venues include PS 122, NURTUREart, Exit Art, Vertex List and M.Y. Art Prospects.
In his first New York exhibition since 2004's, The Beasts of Chaos, José Luis Fariñas unleashes a new series of meticulously detailed watercolors, Skirting the Apocalypse, featuring phantasmagoric creatures captured in various stages of metamorphosis as their bodies twist and rend, transforming into heaven-knows-what. In this exhibition, Fariñas has taken his sinister vision a step further by setting his figures in a landscape of embryonic skin, floating egg sacs, and fleshy pustules, to create abstruse dialogues with the foreground figures that may be fully understood only through the logic of dreams. Influenced by the artist's readings of the Old Testament and the Book of Genesis, Skirting the Apocalypse is nothing less than Fariñas' personal interpretation of the end of all things.
Critics have compared Fariñas' works to the demonological paintings of Brueghel and Bosch and to Goya's renderings of human suffering. Fariñas himself cites the influence of Durer, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh, as well as the Cuban artists Wifredo Lam, Acosta León, and Carlos Enríques. But the impression one takes away from Skirting the Apocalypse is that of an intensely original artist working at the peak of his powers.
José Luis Fariñas was born in 1972 to Spanish-Cuban parents of Sephardi origin. A graduate of the San Alejandro Academia de Artes Plásticas and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Fariñas has presented more than 30 solo exhibits and more than 100 collective exhibits both in and outside of Cuba. In the United States, he has been exhibited at the Las Américas Denver Museum, the Mizel Museum of Judaica, both in Colorado and the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Of recent note, one of Fariñas’ watercolors decorates the central panel of The Death of Narcissus, the new ballet created by Alicia Alonso, as her homage with the National Cuban Ballet, to José Lezama Lima. A novel illustrated by Fariñas, Apocalypse, was recently nominated for the 2010 National Prize of Book of High Bibliophilic Art.
The installations of Yumi Kori invite the viewer’s participation within the exhibition. Her simple motifs, which incorporate reflective and translucent materials, produce a soothing ambiance that gradually penetrates the viewer’s senses. Kori, who is also an architect, alerts us to our surroundings and transforms an existing setting into a new environment in which space appears to expand and dematerialize into infinity.
For this exhibition entitled Matsukaze, Kori explores her favorite medium: light. In a fresh take on the neon sign, she fashions her own unique lighting vessel from hand-blown glass and fills it with xenon gas. The pattern, strength, and hum of the light changes as the voltage fluctuates. Rays of light appear and disappear, following ever-changing pathways through the glass. In Kori’s words, the lights are dancing, and the glass, singing.
While a single one of these xenon light vessels reminds us of a glowing creature in a cocoon, arranging them in a group of various sizes and shapes creates a fascinating room-sized organic musical instrument. Wandering through the exhibition space, we are immersed in a shimmering dimension of our own creation. The artist’s own interpretation of the experience is wind (“kaze”) blowing through a pine forest (“matsu”), an ancient metaphor often associated with eternity in Japanese culture. By naming this installation “Matsukaze,” the artist invites the viewer to travel through time and space within the exhibition.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, Yumi Kori studied architecture at Kyoto Prefecture University and Columbia University. Since 1999, her installation work has been exhibited in Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States. U.S. venues include the Mattress Factory, PA, Japan Society, NY, List Art Center at Brown University, RI, and ISE Cultural Foundation, NY. Kori’s work was also featured at the Museum of Modern Art Bahia, Salvador, Brazil in 2008. In addition to her critically acclaimed installation projects, she taught Japanese architecture at Columbia University and Barnard College from 1996 to 2005. Since 2003, she has also designed stage sets for Sally Silvers and Dancers.
To see a video of the installation, click here.
Mayumi Lake has been evoking emotional responses from her viewers for years. This time, she provides her own reaction first. In her new portraits of young women and pubescent girls, ominous illumination and vintage costumes add an evocative and uncanny tone to an otherwise genteel subject matter. Some of the subjects are posed in austere Victorian dress covering their feminine curves while others play schoolgirls wearing mini-skirt uniforms. Their shapes and facial expressions are obscured in strategic shadow. According to Lake, these unconventional portraits are based on historical or culturally specific stereotypes, and all of them have one thing in common: For the artist, these women and girls posses the power to inspire a sense of awe.
After tracing the difficult lives of her own mother and grandmother during the WWII in her “Ex Post Facto” series (2009), Lake was intrigued by the legacy of the Countess Mitsuko Coudenhove-Kalergi (nee Aoyama, 1874-1941), a pioneering Japanese woman who migrated to Europe in the late 19th Century and married into a prominent European family. Upon visiting the countess’ grave, Lake was struck by an inexplicable, overwhelmingly emotional unease which inspired Lake to find compelling female archetypes that she admired and feared at the same time. In Æther, Lake invites these women out of the darkness much as a medium calls forth spirits. It is through this deeply personal and intimate relationship with her own phobia and fantasies that Lake injects authenticity into her disquieting female portraits.
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Mayumi Lake studied photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Since 1997 Lake’s work has been exhibited at MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), Art In General, the Asia Society, and the Museum of Sex (New York). Her work was also exhibited in many cities including Amsterdam, Brescia, Munich, and Bangkok. Nazraeli Press published two monographs by Lake (Poo-Chi, Ex Post Facto). Her other series My Idol (2007) was also first shown at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects.
To read a review click here.
A rare group exhibition among the first of its kind in the U.S. COUNTERPOINT: Outsider Art from Japan will feature more than 40 works by 5 artists from Studio SYU*, a creative workshop for the disabled located outside Tokyo (Kawaguchi city, Saitama). The exhibition is co-organized by YUKIKO KOIDE PRESENTS, a prominent Tokyo gallery in the field of Art Brut and outsider art.
Through Studio SYU’s workshop environment, members have developed remarkably candid and compelling artistic vocabularies without any formal training. Their work represents so-called outsider art, due to its indifference to mainstream artistic norms and contemporary market trends. Rather than alienating these artists as outsiders, we hope to recognize their refreshing perspectives as valid counterpoints deserving of scrutiny. Inspired, like so much great art, by a “painful, difficult search within” (Louise Nevelson), outsider art is becoming an essential voice in today’s ever-evolving art scene.
With COUNTERPOINT, we are excited to introduce five truly inspiring artists. Yuki Tanaka’s playful portraits of Chataro, the studio's pet dog, recall the innocence of drawing as a labor of love. Shogo Ozaki, who lives with Down syndrome, channels his obsession with musical instruments and broadcasting equipment. His meticulous drawings may represent a stage set for his own virtual recitals. Considering Hanae Sasaki’s love for Disney and Japanese pop stars, her cryptic renditions of industrial machines and vehicles are delightfully unexpected. Yasuhiro Nishikawa creates vivid, abstract patterns of dots and circles echoing the aesthetic of much Aboriginal art, though this resemblance is coincidental. Yuichi Saito’s frenzied scrawling of Japanese TV show titles, a kind of avant-garde calligraphy, has been shown widely outside of Japan. Saito suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, and writing out words helps him focus. He created each of these works before watching his favorite TV shows, a culmination of his nervous anticipation. With the exception of Saito, this will be their first exhibition abroad. Notably, the majority of the artists are in their late 20s and early 30s, representing younger creators/consumers of Japanese culture.
*Since 1984, the founder of this workshop, the Minuma Welfare Foundation, has provided various working opportunities for the disabled. Today, the studio has grown to 21 members and provides painting, textile, and woodcraft workshops. The Studio is intended to be an open space where the disabled, their families, staff, volunteers, and local residents can unite in creative expression.
Israeli artist Inbal Abergil seeks to examine both aesthetic and societal norms held by Israeli communities and the world at large. Her work grapples with notions of time and memory, adeptly traversing the limits of photography. Abergil breathes new life into this established medium, imbuing her viewer with a fresh conceptual framework. 24 Frames Per Second (2008) is a photo series taken from the audienceperspective of films shown in theaters across Israel. Abergil sat among moviegoers while photographing the screen, and risked evading Israeli security by bringing her camera into the theater. New to the U.S., the series comprises 11 photographs, each measuring 33 square inches.
Hollywood productions are rife with formal and narrative conventions. For Abergil, film provides a challenge - a chase to elude these conventions and capture the ultimate image with only one 24th of a second devoted to each frame. The reel of film, itself a series of rapidly sequenced images, demands more than passive regard. It is a race between the advancing film and the artist’s reflex. Inevitably, the images are defined by a certain degree of ignorance, by what remains a blur. The result of this chase is a group of floating stills, each of which transforms the familiarity of film’s narrative form and aesthetic language into something entirely new. Abergil allows the shadowy space between the camera lens and the screen to permeate the photographic plane. Silhouetted rows of seats, spectators’ heads, and the big screen’s frame lend the images a nocturnal, even haunting quality. Looking at these works as examples of meta-photography, one might recall Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Theatres” series, in which he too wrestles with time, though in his case by slowing down the shutter speed to capture an entire film in one shot. Abergil’s work is multifaceted, acknowledging the visual illusion of film and elegantly exposing, as in xray, its bone structure.
Inbal Abergil, once an Air Force photographer, studied photography at Jerusalem’s Hadassah College in 2001 and received her B.E.D. with honors in 2007 from the Midrasha School of Art. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, while dividing her time between New York and Tel Aviv. She has exhibited work in New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and throughout Israel. 24 Frames Per Second was critically acclaimed during its maiden exhibition in Tel Aviv in 2008.
For the past two decades, Jonathan Hammer has investigated the concept of narrative through a unique practice that includes such traditional techniques as etching, Japanese screen-making, 16th-century marquetry and the ancient art of bookbinding. From the image-text interplay of his lavish leather-bound tomes that bring together the work of contemporary artists and writers to the theatrical, story-based characters that populate his drawings and etchings to the historiographic corporealism that underpins his exotic animal-skin screens, Hammer mines the complex and sometimes troubling chronicle of our shared past to inform poignant meditations on the human experience.
For KOVNO - KOBE, Hammer finds inspiration in his Lithuanian heritage, taking as his point of departure a little-known cross-cultural event from World War II in which some 2,100 Lithuanian Jews managed to escape the Nazi campaign of genocide by finding an unlikely safe haven in Japan, then an Axis power and German ally.
Just a few months before the Nazi invasion of Lithuania in June of 1941, vice consul for the Japanese Empire Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986) -- in direct opposition to the Japanese government -- issued transit visas to allow the refugees to travel to Japan on their way to settle in other countries. The Simon Wiesenthal Center estimates that around 40,000 descendants of those Jewish refugees are alive today because of the brave actions taken by Sugihara, who in 1984 was named one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
Presenting pastels, gouaches and etchings in addition to the exhibition’s eponymous centerpiece -- a twofold screen made from the marquetry of exotic animal skins and precious metals such as gold and palladium -- Hammer contrasts the perspectives of the victims and victimizers of the massacre in Kovno, Lithuania, with those of the witnesses and saviors in Kobe, Japan. These works cast a new light on an extraordinary yet relatively unknown story from World War II. Related materials (video, books and photographs) documenting this remarkable event will be available in our project room.
An Enlarged Heart takes language and light as central forms and metaphor with new works in neon, lenticular, photo etching, and embroidery. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of public events and performances.
Erika deVries' work is narrative and responds to cyclical transformations from girlhood, womanhood, and motherhood. The present exhibition incorporates the rhythms of daily living while exploring the nature of presence and absence. An Enlarged Heart draws on textual works in the artist's six-year old son's hand, as he copies phrases dictated by his mother. Rendered in neon, these transcriptions crystallize the moments when language and meaning coalesce. "Infinite Capacity" and "For Goodness Sake" also appear in a series of collaborative drawings with her son embroidered on tea towels. deVries writes, "New words and their meanings, movements, skills, and experiences are part the parent's every day parade. I am staggered by each moment's fullness then disappearance. I re-learn the power of words as my children work towards literacy."
Continuing her use of lenticular photography and exploring new fabrications transforming her photographic imagery, deVries matches the triumph of language acquisition with the reconciliation of loss including that of a family friend who died from complications due to an enlarged heart. Other works document marigold-dying processes, household compost, and seasonal shifts. In a photo etching created at Ten Grand Press, Victorian writing exercises and a mobile device's chat simultaneously explore how writing is communication both shared and internal.
The author Rebecca Solnit writes of utopias that bloom in the aftermath of disaster, and how in extreme conditions our human capacity can enlarge to engage circles of community, love, and care. At a time when a loved one was experiencing fear and anxiety, the artist learned a Kundalini exercise that involves breathing in the sufferer's pain in order to breathe out, and back, love. The artist writes, "Our Infinite Capacity For Love are words that have bound me to the people of my life: the family, friends, and others, past and present that I admire. This exhibition is in their tribute."
Erika deVries is a photography, performance and video artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She has lectured and exhibited internationally including: Halifax University, Nova Scotia, Canada; Los Angeles Center For Photographic Studies; Point of View Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Gemachtschule Universitaet, Kassel, Germany. She recently had a solo exhibition titled, "Your Mother Is In The Basement", at LaSalle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Her work was included in the exhibition "mother/Mother" at AIR Gallery this past winter. deVries's work will be included in the upcoming publication The M Word, Real Mother's In Contemporary Art, edited by Myrel Chernick, 2010.
For the last 10 years Anders Ruhwald has been creating ceramic objects shaped in forms long associated with household objects (i.e. lamp, vase, mirror) but not intended to be used as such. Ruhwald attempts to liberate these forms from their subordinating role as utilitarian objects and allow them to quietly but mischievously interact with the viewer. His investigations shed a new light on the nominative role certain objects play in the navigation of our daily lives. To this end, Ruhwald sets up individual sculptures-- typically glazed earthenware in a single color--as stage props or even characters waiting for an audience.
In his new show entitled Temperance!, Ruhwald’s objects are suggestive, restrained and yet playful. The central piece in the show, “The shades about to fall (division),” consists of 23 rectangular ceramic forms hung from the ceiling in a straight line spanning the length of the gallery. The work becomes a space divider that is constantly changing as the individual pieces move around themselves. The work limits the audience’s movement in the gallery while leading them through the space as the individual pieces gradually change hue from one piece to the next. As a counterpoint, two human-scale yellow vases are placed at end of a large low podium intersecting the gallery. Cone-shaped with a flattened top, the vases have protruding handles that are too small to hold, lending an air of incongruity to this oddly proportioned yet ostensibly everyday scenery. At the other end of the gallery, a hollow object on tripod legs seems to mimic a TV. On the wall hung from orange knobs, two chairs play with Shaker dogmatism. Since they are only outline forms, they serve no practical purpose except to flatly echo the ideology of a vanished era.
Anders Ruhwald (born 1974, Denmark) lives and works in London and Detroit. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. Solo exhibitions include “The state of things” at The Museum of Art and Design in Copenhagen, Denmark, “You in Between” at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in the UK as well as various gallery solo-shows in Stockholm, London, Copenhagen, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Brussels. His work is represented in many museum and private collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK), The National Museum of Decorative Art (Norway), The National Museum (Sweden), The Swedish Arts Council, The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark). Ruhwald has lectured and taught at many universities and colleges around Europe and North America and has held an associate professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently he is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit.
Kueng Caputo, a Swiss-born designer/artist duo, creates a cardboard hotel room within a gallery space which promises five-star comfort and luxury in spite of low-cost disposable materials.
Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo (a.k.a. Kueng Caputo) welcome gallery visitors to enter a simple white box they first designed in 2006. Constructed with plain cardboard, the lightweight and portable box folds out in a second at any location. The naturally warm interior is designed for relaxation or even an overnight stay; a guest can rest his/her upper body on the mattress and pillow inside, while stretching their legs outside the box. Yet, the really surprising feature is the interior walls decorated with delightful laser-cut pop-outs and soft, warm LED lights. This portable, instantly accessible accommodation, Five Star Cardboard, offers a uniquely simple and inexpensive solution for people seeking a quiet, private, and inspiring space amidst an often hectic public area.
Although the exhibition will showcase only one such hotel room, Kueng Caputo has adapted this idea into several thematic rooms with different patterns and colors, i.e., Classico Romatico, Italian Lover, Sogni del Bambini, and Bosco di Hawaii. Kueng Caputo allows visitors or guests to choose a room to match their taste by presenting a pop-out model representing each style. These models will be displayed as part of the exhibition and available as limited-edition sculptures. In addition, their by-product "Table Scenery," their bird, fish, and flower-pattern table decoration is a playful do-it-yourself kit also available during the show.
Sarah Kueng (b. 1981) and Lovis Caputo (b. 1979) both studied at HGKZ, Department of Industrial Design, Zurich, Switzerland between 2004 and 2008. Since 2006 they have collaborated as Kueng Caputo (www.kueng-caputo.ch) on innovative projects such as Five Star Cardboard and Copy, exploring mundane materials and environments to exercise and reflect high design/architectural concepts. Kueng Caputo has been invited to museums, galleries, and design/art fairs worldwide, including venues in Zurich, Basel, Milan, Cape Town, Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, and New York.
For his first New York solo exhibition, Joseph Burwell reconstructs an environment based on his former studio, a converted garage in Brooklyn, New York. The result is a carefully staged artist’s workshop referred to as School of the Viking Spaniard which plays off his half-Puerto Rican heritage and Icelandic birthplace. It's phrasing uses the language of art history to obscure both the era and the authorship.
On walls, shelves, and sawhorses, an array of Burwell’s artwork is displayed, along with maps, photographs, tools and other artifacts. For his color drawings intensely executed with pencil and marker pen, Burwell fuses miscellaneous historical and archeological information from different cultures and religions. His sculptural forms reflect his interest in negative architecture and compliment the spaces in his drawings. While it’s true that the remnants of archeological information are often used to help reconstruct history, they may also be used to invent it. It is through this misinterpretation that Burwell eliminates established hierarchies and composes his potential stories.
Burwell’s installation, with bright colors, clashing patterns and absurdist sensibilities, demonstrates his surreal sense of humor over the more serious topics of religious and cultural identities. At the same time, his makeshift studio in a gallery space signifies both the vitality and vulnerability of contemporary artists who, like Vikings or Spaniards, without knowing it themselves, might well be creating their legacies for future historians or archeologists.
Joseph Burwell (b.1970) began to study Architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design in 1988. He received his B.A. in Studio Arts in 1993 from the College of Charleston. In 1999, Burwell received his M.F.A. in Sculpture from Tulane University in New Orleans, and in 2000 he moved to New York City. He has participated in residencies at The Cooper Union, PS 122 Project Studio Program and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program. Burwell has shown in New York, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Egypt and Canada among others. New York venues include PS 122, NURTUREart, Exit Art, Vertex List and M.Y. Art Prospects.
"What is the most important time?” “Right Now.” “Who is the most important person?” “The one in front of you.”
I Cannot Give You Anything But Love, Alexandra Catiere's new series of photographs, portrays precious moments she shared with people she met on the streets in Russia, France, Italy, and the US. They live without a home, without a thing other than themselves. Catiere floated around them with the camera, and the stories of their lives, friends and loves moved her to make their portraits. Each portrait in this series is named after her subject's first name such as Tanya, Gala, Jack, Nicole, Farah or simply Stranger, followed by a location.
Shot in exteriors using natural light, the men and women of different ages, races, and nationalities all appear candid and relaxed, some casting their soft gazes into the camera. Catiere almost always places her subjects against the simplest background possible, usually a plain or solid-colored wall. She then skillfully frames the subjects in a crisp close-up composition. As in fashion photography, Catiere seems keen to highlight her subjects' physical characteristics, i.e. skin, hair, eyes, body shape, as well as what they wear. She effortlessly blends her subjects into existing colors and light, and yet their presence always dominates the scene. In Catiere's treatment, they are too present to ignore and too strong to pity, no matter how much their bruised skin or unclean garments indicate their hard-knock existence. These photographs quietly leave the viewer with an afterimage that is surprisingly engaging and unforgettable. Catiere strives to show that even those who lack the most basic needs can care and love others on his/her own terms.
Born in Minsk, Russia in 1978, Alexandra Catiere began her photographic studies in 2002 in Moscow. In 2003, she moved to New York where she completed a certificate program at the International Center of Photography and worked as an assistant to Irving Penn. She has exhibited in New York, Paris, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Stockholm and Tokyo. Most recently, this new series was exhibited at International Festival of Photography in Rome and the LACEN Gallery in Paris.
Many visual artists create their work through a meditative process as they often call it. While meditation links to religious or spiritual experience, it aims at deeper self-awareness and freedom without losing sight of reality. We try to benefit from this ancient practice in every aspect of contemporary life. This summer exhibition, Soften Your Eyes: Art and Meditation, selects the artworks that provide a perspective for the ending of thought, a dimension beyond time and more in touch with the uderlying reality of the universe.
Bianca Sforni"NARMADA"(2006) is a panoramic photograph of the River Narmada at dawn, the most sacred of five holy rivers in India. While the artist was capturing this harmonious moment in time, the construction of a controversial hydroelectric dam was underway nearby. This scene is personal as well as iconic, urging us to think about both the irreversible loss of purity in nature and the swift passing of time. Similarly expressing the significance of the moment, Ming Mur-Ray draws a simple circle with a brush of burning sage. The idea of drawing a circle recalls the daily practice of Zen monks who interpret the circle as a symbol of enlightenment, strength, and the universe. Mur-Ray's circle drawing reveals the tension between one's mental state and a natural force such as fire. Michelle Provenzano has her own daily self-forming practice before she starts her main work. Calling them "Slips," Provenzano draws vulnerable and passive figures - i.e. animal creatures, hermaphrodites, children - in ballpoint ink and colored pencil. Their interactions, in imagined space, reveal a basic human desire and anxiety of intimacy and conformity.
Jonathan Hammer interprets a natural cycle as a long meditative process. The various sculptural forms of a simple twig ("Twig" series, 2004) are drawn entirely in silver. As the years go by, the color eventually changes and tarnishes, just as a twig itself decays and perishes. Yumi Kori's "Portable Infinity Device"(2007) invites the viewer to look through a narrow frame within a small box she constructed with a sanded acrylic board and paper. Instead of any image, all you can see is light-filled open space, beyond any dimension, evoking infinity.
Meditation has been explored by artists in cyber space as well. In Marcin Ramocki's video "Virtual Singer"(2003), the motionless singer, trapped behind a wooden fence, manifests a rudimentary freedom through random computer-generated seeding, producing a mechanical sounding chant. The randomness of the singer's melody reflects stratified, simulated, and the monotony of our routines. "Suburban Studio"(2009) by Paul Slocum appropriates a MySpace image of a man in a hip-hop recording studio with a subtle static animation of dark fields, emphasizing the passing of time and the emptiness in our daily life.
Takako Azami is fascinated with trees in the natural environment. Receiving the light and bending in the wind, trees are vulnerable, pliant and strong. Their structure is one of nature’s wonders, both chaotic and harmonious. For more than ten years, Azami has been exploring this single subject in her large sumi ink paintings, capturing close-up views of pines, plums, bamboos, and maples.
Viewing Light features a dozen large and medium size ink-on-paper paintings. Initially drawn from life, Azami’s tree paintings are atypical and abstract with rhythmical repetition of dots and lines. Trunks, branches, and leaves are represented in stylized shapes and spatial relationships. Her compositions focus on movement and interaction with temporal and intangible elements, especially the ever-changing dynamic of natural light.
“The morning sunray was so clear. The trees from my apartment window looked different with every passing second. From 9:30am, I sat for three hours by the window and observed the sunlight in the street, the winter trees, and the windows of the apartment across the way” - Takako Azami
In the studio, using the rich black and subtle gray tonality of sumi ink and slightly-textured white chalk pigments, Azami revisits trees' dynamics by moving a paintbrush across oversized, high-absorbent hemp paper. She marks dots—some as large as a fist—and draws lines with various widths from the back of the paper, letting the ink saturate but not completely through the paper. In layers, these marks overlap and collide with each other, charging the space with energy and rhythm. This method also reveals to the viewer the chronological reverse order of her art-making process.
Takako Azami was born in 1964 in Saitama Prefecture, a district north of Tokyo. She holds a BFA in Japanese-style painting from Tama University of Fine Arts. She has been invited to a number of important museum exhibitions, including “Suibokuga Today,” the Suiboku Museum, Toyama (2004 and 2009), “Post Nihongaism: It was Once Called Nihonga,” Nerima Art Museum, Tokyo (2004), both in Japan, and “Kaleidoscope: Abstraction in 10 Ways” at New Jersey City University gallery (2008). She has held gallery solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Moscow, and New York since 1993. As a recipient of fellowships from Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, Freeman Foundation and the Pola Art Foundation, she participated in New York's International Studio and Curatorial Program and the Vermont Studio Center from 2008 to 2009.
For Carolyn Swiszcz, whether banal or celebrated, public sites are highly personal terrain. "These are paintings of places in and around the city where I live, West St. Paul, Minnesota. About 20,000 people live here; it's a suburb of Minnesota's capital, St. Paul. Like any city, it has beauty and ugliness. Through making art, I have found a way of getting pleasure from ugly things that formerly brought me down.” Indeed, for viewers, Minnesota Miracle is like a very personal visitor's guide complete with a ”Welcome to West St. Paul” signpost, a local church to pray in, a park to stroll through, a steak house that should not be missed, and miracle of miracles, the heroic headquarter buildings of 3M with its red logo glowing against the blue Sky.
Seasonal references give Minnesota Miracle a sensitive touch. Tire tracks on frozen roads, a snow-covered lawn in the backyard of a restaurant, the poor visibility in arctic air, all these images convey the difficulty of life in a place where winter prevails almost all year long. In Swiszcz's work, humans are absent, but the choice of the objects themselves displays the effect of human interaction with the environment. Swiszcz is not an idealistic urban dweller but a survivor who has learned to turn struggle into joy and find beauty in ugliness. Acclaimed for her tableaux, Swiszcz's method is far more complicated than it looks. She draws, paints, and collages, often combining several print-making techniques (monotype, rubber stamp, screen print among others). It is the combination of this craft with her fresh look at seemingly familiar images that makes Swiszcz's work original and compelling.
Carolyn Swiszcz attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in 1994. Since 2000, her work has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum shows in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Fargo, Twin Cities, MN, and Tokyo, Japan. Her work has also been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Drawing Center in New York. Her work is represented in the Microsoft Art Collection and at the Minnesota Historical Society, and was featured in Art In America, Boston Globe, New American Paintings, NY Artsand other publications.
SHUMAFURA is Takahiro Kaneyama's latest series of color photographs, portrays a small fishing town called Shimofuro. Called Shumafura in the Ainu native language, Shimofuro is located on the northern tip of Honshu, Japan's main island, where the artist visited briefly last summer. At first glance, the paved roads, concrete buildings, and modern infrastructures may obscure the reality that the area is fast becoming a depopulated and graying society. Kaneyama's great uncle (his beloved grandmother's younger brother) has worked there all his life as a fisherman. Although the two had never met before, the process of taking photographs became a form of a dialogue that dissolved the distance between them, forging a new relationship.
During his three-day shooting, Kaneyama paid close attention to his great uncle's household full of paraphernalia, which had accumulated over generations. The great uncle, the male heir of the family, became the keeper of family memorabilia including an old photo album in which Kaneyama found a portrait of his mother at the age of 21. Kaneyama was raised by four women: his mother, grandmother, and two unmarried aunts. After his grandmother died, his mother and aunts began traveling together; Kaneyama coming with them to make evocative portraits of the three austere women posing against scenic backdrops. The images, in which memory plays a strong role, became a series titled While Leaves Are Falling. (A few works from this series will be displayed in the adjunct space.)
In SHUMAFURA, Kaneyama's main subjects — the three important women — are absent, except in one close-up shot of a page from an old family album. Instead, Kaneyama contemplates the birthplace of his grandmother, where the three sisters had visited as children. The houses, streets, harbors, and children in SHUMAFURA speak of righteous beauty, of the pride of a long enduring history, and of their modest hope for a brighter future through the fishing industry and tourism. These images explore the delicate lines between depression and melancholy, dullness and tranquility, decay and beauty, etc, as if everything had an equal potential to evolve into any of several possibilities.
Born in 1971 in Tokyo, Japan, Takahiro Kaneyama first came to the U.S. to study film at the City College of New York. He went on to get an MFA at School of Visual Arts (New York), and then studied documentary photography at the International Center of Photography (New York). The recipient of several photo awards, Kaneyama has exhibited at Fuji Photo Salon (Tokyo), Recruit Guardian Garden (Tokyo), Kiyosato Photo Museum (Kiyosato), and the Japan Society (New York), where he exhibited While Leaves Are Falling series in the group show “Making a Home” in 2007. A self-published photo-book titled SHUMAFURA accompanies this exhibition.
Please, Remain Seated is a new painting installation by a young Bulgarian-born artist who investigates the nature of escape through the pictorial narrative with sophisticated representational style. Following the academic tradition of figurative painting and the influence of Byzantine murals and social realist monuments, Yana Dimitrova creates an installation that transforms the exhibition space into a transitory environment of ‘non-space,’ suspending a viewer between past, present, and future. Subdued colors and a sepia tone of her painting evoke a sense of nostalgia for distant memories and a psychological discomfort of relocation.
Dimitrova’s painted subjects are drawn from personal memories combined with sociological/ideological research, and her references are as intimate as a family album and as social/industrial as a vessel of transportation or a modern apartment building. Collectively, they serve as a metaphor for the immigrant’s existence. The repetitive representation of a single subject such as a chair, an assembly line worker, or an aircraft passenger conveys shifting states of escape/confinement in collective/individual territories. Her use of curved or window-shaped canvases enhance an illusion, mimicking the physical space and textures of architectural components in the manner of the trompe l’oeil tradition in Europe.
Yana Dimitrova studied at the School for Fine Arts and Culture “Acd. Ilia Petrov” in Sofia, Bulgaria. After relocating to the U.S. in 2002, she studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah and Atlanta, GA. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including shows at Gallery Twenty-Four in Berlin, Germany and shows in the UK, Eastern Europe and around the US. Dimitrova currently lives in New York City.
In 1979, when he was 33 years old, Richard Gorycki suffered a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the early 1980s, he began taking art therapy classes at Gowanda Psychiatric Center in western New York. The paintings and drawings in this exhibition roughly cover the span of time from 1985-1995. Although naiveté is a word often used to describe outsider artists, Gorycki's wide range of interests as a youth, such as economics, Sanskrit and Vedic philosophy, and European art (which he studied in Madrid), all hover in the background of his unique introverted vision.
The idea behind Paraphernalia and Other Treasures began several years ago when the artist's childhood friend and playwright, Jeffrey Haddow, received dozens of color photographs documenting artwork Gorycki created in his art therapy course. Some of the works--depicting imaginary buildings and landscapes, as well as abstract geometric shapes—were drawn on paper with colored pencil. Others were watercolors, and some were painted in oil on canvas. The striking nature of the images led Mr. Haddow to investigate their artistic value. He says, “I knew there was something called outsider art, and I thought it might be possible to find a market for Gorycki’s work.” His idea of helping Mr. Gorycki progressed another step last year when he discussed the idea with several dealers at the annual Outsider Art Fair in New York. He ultimately decided to organize an exhibition to draw attention and hopefully garner positive feedback from as many people as possible, including experts on outsider art.
Richard Gorycki was born in Jamaica, New York in 1946. He studied at Georgetown University, graduating in 1969 with a degree in economics, and immediately upon leaving school faced the draft. At his pre-induction physical, he was found to have hypertension and given a medical deferment. Throughout the 1970s, he worked at various jobs while pursuing studies in Eastern religions and philosophies. In 1979, he suffered a breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After being discharged from a psychiatric center in 1980, Mr. Gorycki studied land surveying at Alfred State College. Although he took a job in this field shortly after completing his studies, he was unable to continue and voluntarily committed himself to Gowanda Psychiatric Center. It was while in residence at Gowanda that he began drawing in art therapy classes. He used mainly colored pens and some pastels on paper, but also explored oil on canvas. Although he found creating art to be beneficial, he gave it up in 1995, mainly because, as he says, “there was no payoff.” In an autobiographical sketch, he writes: “While I have not painted for over a decade now, I feel I could go back to it on short order. But only if there were a payoff. If I could earn money from my artwork, I would do it. Otherwise I have no interest. So I guess I am not an artist at heart, someone who would create regardless of a payoff or not.” Mr. Gorycki currently lives on a small disability pension in Alfred, New York.
Against Reason features Emna Zghal's latest oil paintings with a smaller selection of prints and watercolors. Drawn from lyrical forms found in nature, she uses a wide spectrum of tones and minute strokes to create highly conceptual, abstract pieces. Turning away from contemporary conventions, she rigorously pursues her idiosyncratic themes of abandonment, lostness, and bewilderment.
Zghal is moved by the brilliant colors of a garden, the subdued beauty of a forest, the reflections within moving water. Her work brings to mind the abstractions of Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell, particularly in her use of repetitive, swirling strokes with careful but unstrained release of color.
"It had to be contained and subordinated like a woman. Colour was a permanent internal threat, and an ever-present inner other which, if unleashed, would be the ruin of everything, the fall of culture. " - David Batchelor (Chromophobia)
Stimulated by the controversial "chromophobia" theory, Zghal emphasizes the "sheer truth" in color over design, in a world where color comes second to drawings and concepts. These pieces are about the sensory experience of color as yet undefined, present right now, not within the confines of pre-existing conventions of design. Although this is precisely the implication of her chosen title, Against Reason, there is an underlying theme of embracing bewilderment over certitude.
Always linked to nature, Zghal's keen interest in femininity, poetry, politics, and her Arab-African heritage help to take her into new horizons in these color abstract painting.
Born in 1972 in Tunisia, Emna Zghal studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Tunis. In 1999, she earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
After less than a decade in New York City, she has distinguished herself both in personal achievement and social commitment. Last year, she was awarded the Purchase Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Zghal and Michael Rakowitz are 2008 Creative Capital visual art grantees for their project Dark Turquoise, which initiates a series of public craft workshops seeking to reproduce recently lost, stolen, or destroyed Iraqi artifacts using traditional American Indian techniques.
Since 1993, Zghal has held solo exhibitions in Tunisia, the U.S., France, and Germany, and most recently Tree of My Mind at M.Y. Art Prospects, New York. Her work is currently on view in a group exhibition Utopian Visions at the Arab-American National Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan.
Her work is represented by the Museum For African Art, NY; Flint Institute of Arts, MI; Rochester Institute of Technology, NY; New York Public Library, NY; Yale University, CT among others.
In July 2002, Marc Lepson responded to 9/11 with his installation entitled Breathe: a meditation on claustrophobia, confinement and comfort. It covered one side of the space with screen-printed images of the Metropolitan Detention Center, where many immigrants were held with no formal charges. On the opposite side were images of blossoming cherry trees representing the freedom outside the center. As a reminder of the time spent by these detainees, enlarged newspaper texts (also screen prints) accompanied the images.
For this exhibition, Marc Lepson creates another simultaneously comforting and disquieting space, filling the gallery walls with digital images enlarged from low-resolution files taken by a cell phone camera. With this super handy tool, the artist's viewpoints travel from New York Times front pages to public spaces traversing spheres both domestic and global —from former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to a sea turtle in a Brooklyn aquarium, from mounted policemen in Gaza to the artist's son in the bathtub.
As newspaper pictures highlight ceaseless conflicts and despairs, lies and hypocrisy around the world, blissful images of the artist's young children—as well as their fascination with rockets and animals—raise questions about a better, more hopeful future
All of these images are collectively aimed at reconciling the competing temporalities in our life: centered then marginalized, focused then obscured, featured then forgotten. The exhibition also boldly challenges the conventional image-making process. By adjusting and enlarging low resolution digital files, Lepson emphasizes their origins as well as the process of absorbing information through media (old and new) and experience.
Marc Lepson holds an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in Printmaking (1997) and a BA from SUNY at Albany in English literature (1991). His solo exhibitions include Boston, New York, and Chicago. He has held numerous group exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Albany, Buffalo and Boston. This year he participated in a number of group shows including 1968: Then and Now at the Nathan Cummings Foundation and New Prints/Summer 2008 at International Print Center (both in New York). Marc Lepson lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Melbourne-based artist duo, Rose Farrell and George Parkin, the leading contemporary photography artists in Australia, are widely known for their unique collaborative projects exploring the history of medicine through the application of complex theatrical scenery using large format photography.
In Restoration, Farrell and Parkin draw their inspiration from the classical style of the Renaissance. While their previous work has exuded the dark, raw atmosphere of the medieval period, their latest theatrical scenes are lighter in mood and more refined. These carefully arranged tableaux bring to mind fine Renaissance perspective drawings. Each image in the series features an injured aristocratic man or woman lying on a sumptuously draped daybed in an environment of magnificent arches and columns. The figures look pale and wan as if they were hovering between life and death and resigned to their fate. Papier-mâché hands and other props attached to the figures suggest arcane medical treatments. This rather disturbing subject matter is executed in beautiful pastel tones achieved through the “afterglow” of photographic lighting. The images as a whole evoke a strange sense of tranquility.
Farrell and Parkin once again emphasize the fragility of human body through their enigmatic representation of traditional medical treatments. Farrell and Parkin's fictitious historical tableaux make us aware that the vulnerability of human body has essentially remained unchanged throughout history.
Farrell and Parkin once again emphasize the fragility of human body through their enigmatic representation of traditional medical treatments. Farrell and Parkin's fictitious historical tableaux make us aware that the vulnerability of human body has essentially remained unchanged throughout history.
Rose Farrell was born in Brisbane in 1949. She completed a Diploma of Photography (Fine Art) at Photography Studies College, Melbourne in 1986 after completing a Bachelor of Applied Science at Queensland Institute of Technology in 1971. George Parkin was born in Corowa in 1949. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design) at Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne in 1984.
Farrell and Parkin have collaborated together for more than two decades. They have had numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including "Random Acts & Traces of the Flood", Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane (2006); "Tranquility", The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2005); "The Artists Surgery: A Constructed Reality", Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria (2004); "Traces of the Flood", Paved Arts + New Media, Saskatoon, Canada (2003). We previously hosted two of their exhibitions,"Tranquility" (2005) and "The Trace of the Flood" (2003). Works by Farrell and Parkin have been published in numerous exhibition catalogs and other publications, including Paco Barragán's “El Arte Que Viene (The Art To Come)” in 2002.
For more than a decade, Japanese-born Takako Azami has been painting monochrome ink paintings inspired by the trees in her immediate environment. She has painted the ancient pine tree in front of her house in Japan over a dozen times in the last decade. Her latest obsession is the tree she can see from the window of her present apartment in Manhattan. This long commitment to the simple subject of a tree contributes to a rich spectrum of artistic expressions, an almost Impressionist take on natural light and ephemeral beauty. Her signature black and white dots depict the ever-changing patterns of branches and leaves reflected in sunlight.
"The morning sunray was so clear. The trees from my apartment window looked different with every passing second. From 9:30 am, I sat for three hours by the window and observed the sunrays in the street, the winter trees, and the windows of the apartment across the way." -Takako Azami
Takako Azami was born in 1964 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. She graduated from Tama University of Fine Arts with a B.A. in painting with an emphasis on Japanese-style painting. She has been invited to exhibit in such important group exhibitions as "The Vision of 'Nihonga': Between the Inside and the Outside," The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, Japan and "The Tenth International Art Fair 'ART MOSCOW'," Moscow City Hall Cultural Committee, Russia. Her recent solo exhibitions include "Viewing Light," Art Front Gallery/Art Interactive Tokyo, Japan in 2006 and Gertsev Gallery, Moscow, Russia in 2006 and Citizens Gallery of Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo in 2006.
Takako Azami is the recipient of a 2007-08 fellowship to study in the US for a period of one year in the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists.
In this calm yet emotionally charged photographic narrative, Chicago-based artist, Mayumi Lake traces her family history back some sixty years and revisits her childhood fantasy of bringing back her grandfathers who were killed in combat during WWII.
In Ex Post Facto, rural landscapes evoke memories of battlefields, and female portraits pay tribute to those who suffered the loss of their loved ones. Panoramic green fields and untamed woods suggest the epic scale of destruction and sacrifice, while dimly illuminated women (portrayed by the artist) express subtle but complex moods and emotions -aggression, lamentation, resignation, hope, and longing.
Ex Post Facto raises questions about the possibility of reconciling personal pain and loss by imagining that events that have already occurred can be reversed or altered retrospectively. Although it is autobiographical, the series avoids being self-serving. With a bird's-eye view, the work spans three generations of women in the artist's family. In portraits of 1940's Girl Scouts, Lake portrays herself as idealistic youths who can rescue their grandfathers who never came back. These girls are by-products of Henry Darger-ish fantasies of the artist. In other images, Lake plays her mother and her grandmother: a teenager from the 1950's reads a letter her mother wrote but never sent to her father stationed abroad; a young wife holds a husband's combat helmet that was never recovered.
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Mayumi Lake studied photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, 1997 and MFA, 2000), the Rhode Island School of Design (1997-98), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2003). Since 1997 Lake's work has been exhibited at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Art In General, and the Asia Society, New York. Her work was also recently exhibited in Brescia (Italy), Munich (Germany), and Bangkok (Thailand). Her critically acclaimed "Poo-Chi" series was published as a monograph by the Nazraeli Press in 2002. Lake's last show at M.Y. Art Prospects, My Idol, was selected as "Best In Show" by R.C. Baker for The Village Voice in 2006.
Five years after his participation in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, this solo exhibition of Conor McGrady's work focuses on his recent paintings and drawings. These depictions of urban and rural terrain, often featuring uniformed individuals, are a testimony to McGrady's ongoing investigation into how power manifests itself in the symbols and iconography employed by individuals and nation states.
McGrady grew up in Northern Ireland during the height of the region's recent conflict. Although politics there have evolved, the experience of living in a war zone is still vivid in McGrady's memories.
McGrady's work raises questions relating to the control of personal space and national boundaries. His rural landscapes examine the tension implicit in areas that represent the archetypal romantic idyll and yet contain hidden threats. In the drawings of urban areas, neo-classical architecture conjures up a sense of imagined order and permanence. The impersonal and often uniformed subjects of his figurative compositions explore individual and collective psychology in situations of social instability.
All of the works are executed in black-and-white, but grays take the works in a different direction. "They bleed off the solid black lines, suggesting impermanence." McGrady comments, implying that the power/social structures in our society are both solid and yet impermanent.
Conor McGrady lives and works in New York City. He earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. Besides being exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, his work has been shown in a number of US and European institutions including White Columns and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Daydream In My Garden features two black-and-white photo series produced by the young photographer Go Sugimoto between 2003 and 2006. Walk In the Night, his first mature work, is a series of nightscapes spontaneously shot on desolate streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn. By contrast, his second series, Paper-Work, features folded sheets of white paper set against white backgrounds, carefully staged in his small bedroom studio.
Although seemingly very different, these two series share the distinctive sensitivity Sugimoto expresses through his labor-intensive darkroom operations. He manipulates contrasts in order to achieve a rich spectrum of shades between black and white. This emphasis on tonality is so important to his work that light draws us in with the magnetism of the void, and shadow becomes poignant. Consequently, looking at his photography changes our normal perception of positive/negative, presence/absence, real/ethereal.
The exhibition also introduces his latest series, Daydream In My Garden (2007), which explores flowers, subjects Sugimoto describes as "amazing and necessary in my life." Their presence brings him a profound feeling of comfort and happiness, inspiring him to wander in a garden of the imagination where he 'arranges' flowers just so they can appeal more directly to him. The results are unusually subtle, almost skeletal images of flowers. He then adds a tint of color by hand in the manner of old postcards. In all three series, Sugimoto searches for simplicity and purity in his creative process. It is not how his work looks, but how he expresses complex emotions and realities. It's a moment of clearing the mind to be able to fully savor day or night dreams.
Go Sugimoto (b. 1979, Japan) graduated from the International Center of Photography, New York, in 2003. His work has been exhibited in US, Japan, France and Spain and published in Fahrenheit, Studio Voice, and Time Out New York. Next month, his work will be featured in a group exhibition, "Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York," at the Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York City.
A trained calligrapher, Pouran Jinchi works within the formal conventions of Persian and Arabic script. Her recent choice of source text, however, is unusual. The Recitation drawings focus on the Qoran, the oldest and most sacred book of Islam. The 7th-century text is never the subject of poetic license: few stylistic variations are allowed and its contents cannot be changed. Here the artist renegotiates this principle.
In the main gallery space, the Tajvid scrolls reproduce the Qoran with one conceptual remove. Selections of text have been rewritten by hand, faithful to the original in almost every way—except that the consonant letters have been erased. Only the guiding vowel sounds are left. These diacritical marks are the tajvid of Qoranic recitation, used to guide the reader through the conventions of Arabic pronunciation. But without the main consonant letters, the text is unreadable.
In the Project Room, the Zamineh drawings complete the theme by displaying what has been removed from the larger scrolls. Here the Qoranic verses are almost readable, but still lack the dots necessary for telling letters apart. The two groupings are connected by the verse names and numbers, which appear in both; and by the consistent use of bright green, the color that distinguishes the descendants of the Muslim prophet.
Jinchi brings focus back onto the visual and aural pleasure of the Qoran, while teasing apart the apparent unity of religious form. Yet the authority of the sacred text has not been tampered with—it has been wholly displaced. Recitation reconsiders the ways in which any text establishes a communicative relationship with its audience.
Pouran Jinchi (born Mashad, Iran) graduated from George Washington University with an engineering degree. Later she studied fine art at the Art Students League of New York. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Germany, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. M.Y. ART PROSPECTS has presented three solo exhibitions of the artist: “Rubaiyat” in 2000, “Antworks” in 2001, and most recently “Alef” in 2005 in its Project Room.
Main text adapted from “Pouran Jinchi: Recitation,” by Media Farzin, with her permission.
Far and Then Farther features a series of photographs (including some lenticular prints) that Erika deVries took over the past four years, often while she was traveling. deVries features herself, members of her family, and friends in these photographs, although they refuse to settle into ordinary portraits; the real subjects of deVries' work are landscapes that she explores with a hyper-awareness of small details and textures. House, garden, thicket, playground, and park are set and stage, inspiring stories and revealing meaningful connections with diverse living beings and locales. A torso in a red T-shirt, a dead sparrow lying on a sidewalk, entangled tree roots - each frame in this series delivers highly condensed or abbreviated information like great verse, and colors, shapes, and gestures become eloquent symbols of hope, loss, nostalgia and everyday reality. Her ability to connect her audience with the essence of life is strikingly evident in this recent work. Perhaps watching her young children growing up makes deVries acutely aware that these moments can quickly fade into the past and be forgotten. Her recent camera work not only reminds us of the powerful emotions attached to these mundane places and moments, but also refreshes our perspectives of life itself.
Erika deVries is a Brooklyn-based artist who holds an MFA from the Art Institute Chicago. She currently teaches at New York University Department of Photography & Imaging. Her recent solo exhibitions include "preschool" at M.Y. ART PROSPECTS' Project Room (2006), New York and "Naming Trees" (2003) at Buzzer Thirty, Queens, New York. Her work is represented in the collection of The Center For Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
I do not want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning. Orhan Pamuk The title of the exhibition is the same as Emna Zghal's latest artist's book, The Tree Of My Mind (published by the Women's Studio Workshop) in which the tree is explored as a metaphor for human existence. As in her previous book project, Cultures Of War: An Essay, Zghal's imagery has a close affiliation with words and poetry. In this new book, from the Qur'an and French chansons to Orhan Pamuk - this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, wide-ranging sources have inspired her to create this set of eleven etchings. Each image transforms the unpredictable patterns of nature into rhythmic compositions of ink on paper.
In addition to displaying individual etchings from the book, the exhibition will showcase Zghal's signature paintings that combine the techniques of woodcuts, rubbings, collage, gouache and ink drawing. Translucent veils of color, together with graceful contours from wood grains and barks, create a potent emotional effect. By evoking natural phenomena such as a mirage or a swirling eddy, Zghal's work draws the viewer into an infinite labyrinth of nature.
Emna Zghal is a Tunisian-born artist living in New York City. She holds a B.A. from the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Tunis and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She has held solo exhibitions in Tunisia, the U. S., France and Germany since 1993.
This exhibition coincides with two group exhibitions in which Zghal's work is included: RE: GENERATION curated by Joan Snyder and Molly Snyder Fink at the Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY (Jan. 27 - Mar. 11, 2007); and a drawing show at the Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY (Feb. 9 - Mar. 17, 2007).
Zghal's work is represented in several public collections. A copy of the book, The Tree Of My Mind, was recently acquired by the New York Public Library, NY.
Beginning November 30, 2006,M.Y. Art Prospects is pleased to present its 3rd solo exhibition by Cleverson, a New York-based multimedia artist. The exhibition will remain on view through December 30, 2006.
Born and raised in Brazil, Cleverson moved to New York in 1996 to pursue his career as an international artist. Nine years later in 2005, he took unusual routes to his hometown in Brazil, across the North, Central, and South Americas. In 38 days, he crossed 12 countries almost entirely by bus: the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The exhibition, entitled Frontiers: A Journey Through the Americas, is based on this trip that challenges both geographical and psychological limits.
While incorporating documentary materials such as photography, video, notes and interviews, the exhibition alludes to an old fashioned narrative. It seems that Cleverson creates a character to tell his story as a traveler. The contents of Frontiers witnessed by this character are full of unknown lands and unexpected, unplanned events. It is, however, felt less romantic and heroic than expected. It evokes invisible barriers among the Americas while the character encounters and interacts with the locals, indigenous peoples, and other travelers.
A dramatic multimedia installation and a live performance (the latter is for opening night only) contribute to Cleverson’s eerie storytelling style. The highlight of the artifacts is a large mural drawing of a mountain in the Andes directly executed onto the center wall. This landscape, seen from a town called Mendoza near Santiago, Chile, symbolizes the entire South American continent and connects East and West as a gateway for Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Meanwhile, a DVD showing the section of his trip in Central America is shown from atop a platform resembling a camp site placed in front of the mural so that the landscape works as a theatrical backdrop. For the DVD, Cleverson mixes the footage of the trip with allegorical imagery and sounds suggesting the exhibition’s various themes.
Cleverson was born in 1972 in Brazil. He studied sculpture at the Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná. He has shown works including drawing, sculpture, and film at various venues in New York as well as Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro. Most recently, he held a solo exhibition at Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Paraná in Brazil. His past solo exhibitions with M.Y. Art Prospects gallery are “Golden Years” (2004) and “Cleverlandia 2002” (2002).
For this exhibition entitled Shelf Life, Minnesota-based painter/printmaker Carolyn Swiszcz once again demonstrates her provocative take on strip mall stores and store window displays. The humble appeal of these barely surviving Midwest suburban stores inspires the artist to conduct detailed investigations into their materials and the designs of their displays. Swiszcz explained it like this in one of her recent magazine interview:
"When I see these window displays my heart swells and I think, 'Oh! They're trying! Somebody tried their best with their time and resources.' They actually made those decisions and ordered those signs and they had dreams about their business." While being faithful to her observation, Swiszcz also applies hyper-real colors and patterns to the buildings and their surroundings, combining varied techniques of painting, drawing and printmaking. Swiszcz's dollhouse-like painted buildings cynically but affectionately crystallize the dreams and ambitions of middle class Americans for a better life. If the products these stores sell have a shelf life, shouldn't the business itself? Swiszcz seems to know the answer. "Ultimately I'd like things to stay the way they are, and since those places seemed doomed, I can at least preserve them in my work."
Born and raised in New Bedford, MA, Carolyn Swiszcz attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in 1994. Since 2000, her work has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum shows in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Fargo and her base, the Twin Cities. Her work has also been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Drawing Center in New York. A 2002 recipient of the Bush Fellowship, Swiszcz lives in St. Paul, MN. Her work is represented in the Microsoft Art Collection and at the Minnesota Historical Society, and was featured in Art In America, Boston Globe, New American Paintings, NY Arts and other publications. In 2003, Swiszcz presented her solo show Daydreaming is Free at M.Y. ART PROSPECTS.
Lyndell Brown & Charles Green | Cleverson | Megan Cump | Erika deVries Vandana Jain | Pouran Jinchi | Mayumi Lake | Marc Lepson | Hironori Murai The group show, "A Distant Mirror," features concept-derived works by ten distinguished artists.Revolving around the idea of metaphorically seeing oneself in a remote reflection,"A Distant Mirror" examines each artist's take on facing the unknown in hopes of discovering the rich possibilities in merging two separate worlds. This theme is carried through a variety of media such as paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, and videos. Known for her twists on everyday commercial items and symbols, Vandana Jain uses the water bottle to give birth to futuristic architectural cityscapes. Similarly inspired by popular images, Pouran Jinchi creates her own version of the American flag infusing Islamic geometric patterns and symbols.. Jinchi's painting is a response to the current political and social status of this country. Megan Cump and Cleverson respectively visit romantic sites such as waterfalls and ancient ruins, where landscapes become a channel between the physical and spiritual, and upper and under worlds. In Cump's case, a C-print photograph is used to contrast skeletal figures against the lush forests of Pennsylvania, whereas Cleverson videotapes himself dressed up as his own shadow running against stonewalls of an ancient Mayan ruin in Mexico. Generational exchange is the key to self-reflection for artists Mayumi Lake andErika deVries. Lake's hanging pieces with silhouettes of her mother and herself as a child evokes an innocent attachment between the two who dressed and posed very much alike. DeVries' photo series recorded herself holding her infant son at the same spot over a period of three years. Both artists emphasize the repeated and progressive nature of time and personal memories. Other artists reflect upon political and cultural events of our time in their work.Hironori Murai explores the long overdue exchange between the Korean and Japanese. After his joint performance with a Korean artist at a border in the ocean, he continues to make drawings and sculptures referring to this experience. Marc Lepson blows up specific areas of newsprint photos to point to the many ways that important political events and decisions become lost within our over saturated media environment. The artist duo Lyndell Brown & Charles Green creates a small photo-realistic painting of the World Trade Center site to meditate upon historical memories.
preschool features new digital lenticular photographs by New York-based artist, Erika deVries. In this exhibit, deVries photographs her daydreams and day-to-day experiences.
deVries creates performances for the camera, using landscape and place as set and stage. Her images of the everyday, such as blossoming branches, folding laundry, pumping breast milks, changing skies conjure poetic stories based on her emotions. She tells her stories in order to make meaningful connections with other living beings and with places.
"I am interested in how these lenticular images - like life experiences - mostly quietly, sometimes acutely, shift between the magical and the mundane. I am drawn to the lenticular process from a fascination with the lenticular postcards my father would mail to me on his exotic travels as an airline pilot. These postcard parental memories, new experiences of childhood as parent, and the lenticular's out-of-date don't look at the man behind the curtain' clunky transformation and optimistic qualities have led me to work with the process." deVriies says.
Some of deVries's recurrent themes and interests are: hope, loss, control, narrative, everydayness and magic.
Erika deVries currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. deVries completed her MFA at Art Institute of Chicago in 1997 and currently teaches at New York University, Department of Photography & Imaging. Her recent exhibitions include "Naming Tress" (solo, still-photo/video installation, 2003), "Roads and Pastimes" (group, 2004) both at Buzzer Thirty, Queens, NY, and "Watch What We Say" (Radio Free Erika internet, Internet radio forum, 2004) at Schroeder/Romeo Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. M.Y. ART PROSPECTS presented her solo exhibition "A Little Bird Told Me" (still-photo & mixed-media installation) in 2002 at its former location.
Work by Alexandra Catiere is refreshingly straightforward. It doesn't conceal her love for her subjects. She photographs old letters that ended up in flea markets; some look aged and tired, some miraculously intact. In Catiere's artistic hands, these letters are resurrected and emerge full of life. The results are as fascinating as human portraits, capturing the sheer beauty of surface and texture. Russian-born Catiere recently completed a certificate program at the International Center of Photography, New York.
M.Y. Art Prospects is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition of the Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Cleverson.
The exhibition entitled Golden Years extends Cleverson's previous formal and thematic concerns in myriad directions. Consisting of photography, video and sculpture, Golden Years is a meditation of sorts on the fleeting nature of life. Yet even when they plummet into what may ostensibly be dark themes, the works in the exhibition are more than contemporary memento mori as they existentially examine violence and death through the prism of childhood, which, in turn, are collectively anchored in a colloquialism known for the elderly that is the exhibition's title.
The disparity between works that include images of youth and those that refer to the twilight of life are poetic couplings that evince a philosophical concern with subject matter underscored with a mastery of artistic execution. Cleverson's subtle artistic strategies infuse his works with sublimity that produces formal and conceptual tensions.
In the video entitled Golden Years, for example, a young boy voices his fears about a violently heinous crime that may have occurred or that may be purely fictional. The child's intensity of vocal delivery is offset by his seemingly innocent air of boyhood. Compounding this is a young girl whose appearance is interspersed with the young boy and who philosophically muses as to “where you go before you die.” Reminiscent of music videos while citing such film genres as noir and horror, the piece is also evocative of the gothic and is accentuated via the wide range of formal techniques deployed including rapid-fire editing, idiosyncratic camera angles and lighting, and seamless meshing of soundtrack and imagery. Formal repetition of the video has a psychological effect achieved through the cacophonic barrage of sound and image as well as its overall cinematic rhythm.
Similar affectation can also be found in Cleverson’s photographs; here, however, the pictures are more demure but they are no less as powerful. The slightly blurred quality of the photographs attains an aesthetic sensibility closer to painting. The pictures consist of children holding skulls or human bones and dressed in carnival garb; these images have been taken out of their original context and now photographically reside somewhere between portraiture, the film still, animation, computer imaging and digital manipulation.
Cleverson (b.1972) studied sculpture at the Escola de Musica e Belas Artes do Parana in Brazil. He started working with children in 1995 when he produced Pias do Zodiaco, a short film which won the Ed Wood Prize at the 12th Annual Rio Cine Festival, with the children at Casa do Pia Boys Shelter in Brazil. Since then he has been studying digital media through giving film and video workshops for children at Children’s Aid Society and Goodwill Industries. In 2003, he had a solo exhibition at Museu Joaquim Nabuco in Recife, Brazil and Museu da Fotografia Solar do Barao in Curitba, Brazil, where he is from. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Chicago. His first solo exhibition in New York "Clevelandia 2002" was at M.Y. Art Prospects in 2002 and was reviewed by Grace Glueck of the New York Times.
The following essay was written in conjunction with Marc Lepson’s solo exhibition at M.Y. Art Prospects
By Erin Donnelly*
Responses to 9/11 have balanced the immediacy of emotions with an attention towards the arena of global politics. Informed by an ongoing engagement of the space where the personal overlaps with external realities, Marc Lepson describes his latest installation "Breathe" as a meditation on claustrophobia, confinement and comfort. In relation to a social context, a primary role of this work is to articulate the experience of individuals since 9/11 in ways that counter typical media representations.
While the installation specifically addresses the detainment of hundreds of Arab, South Asian, and Muslim immigrants who have been arbitrarily and secretly rounded up since 9/11, the viewer must navigate the space as a protagonist of sorts. Control and danger are suggested by one’s tentative movements across the fragile glass tile flooring or around the narrow perimeter of the room lined with images of a Brooklyn detention center. Underscoring the sensation of confinement, a neon sign commands "breathe" as if this vital human function were unnatural to the environment where "many people whose views or accents are unpopular feel a sense of suffocation."
Incorporating newspaper text and screen-printed imagery, a technique used in billboard production, the use of these strategies of mass communication against themselves is a strong element of Lepson’s work. Disarming the authority of the prison facade behind which dozens of immigrants are held, screen-printed patterns shift in perspective to flatten the building’s girth. Traditional Islamic textile and tile designs are evoked by the repetition of structural details that form geometric abstractions across the surface. Effective and unsettling, the fracturing of the imposing exterior speaks to the invisibility of the detained immigrants whose names have been withheld from public record.
In another component of the installation, the effect of reducing the visual hierarchy of New York Times print layout to densely packed text blocks questions the importance and priority of the field of sequenced words and phrases. As passages lifted from the page and reorganized as a cross-section of the entire text, these headers retain their symbolic value through bold and capitalized formatting. Isolated from their context where news reports compete with the larger scale of advertisements, these frankly stated headlines take on greater meaning.
In contrast to the set of master narratives generated by the mainstream, Lepson registers an alternate experience of the silenced. It is significant that the process-based work of artists acknowledges that the situation is still unfolding. "Breathe" raises important questions about the civil space of all Americans.
*Erin Donnelly is the Associate Director of Visual & Media Arts Initiatives at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA presents the new solo exhibition Silent Spring by Dominique Paul (b.1967), a Canadian-born artist who works between Montréal and New York. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition and the first presentation at the gallery’s new Upper East Side location. The exhibition will run from March 25 to May 2, 2020. An artist reception will be held on Wednesday, March 25 from 6pm to 8pm.
Rachel Carson’s 1962 prophetic essay Silent Spring was critical in the banning of DDT. Today we find ourselves responsible for the steep decline in the species of insects and birds that Carson predicted over 60 years ago. In 2011, in response to the inexorable and seemingly irreversible human intrusion into nature, Dominique Paul began her ongoing series of surrealistic collages in which she juxtaposes human muscles from contemporary sources and early 18th-century botanical illustrations from “Insects of Surinam” by Maria. S. Merian (1647-1717). These illustrations are known for being the first such documentation of insect metamorphosis in their habitats. Once the collages are set, Paul then photographs the whole, forging the two different eras into a fascinating and somewhat unsettling composite.
In Paul’s series (bearing the same title as Merian’s illustrations), as humans become an invasive species they cause the plant to evolve into grotesque hybrid forms. The exhibition highlights two bas-relief trees in which Paul uses laser-cut acrylic exoskeletons to emphasize the symbiotic relationship between the human element and nature. In her work Insects of Surinam 35 (2019), these trees appear to reject and shed superfluous luxury products such as handbags, jewelry and watches –symbolizing the little time we have left before our natural resources are exploited to extinction in the service of consumer greed. The exhibition also introduces her new series Damoiseaux, collages based on her original drawings of bumblebees. In this series, body parts and consumer products transform the insect and bird into a cyborg, symbolizing both the hope and perhaps the misguided efforts to alleviate the plight of the numerous threatened species of North America.
On May 2, the last day of her exhibition, as part of Madison Avenue Gallery Walk, Paul plans to invite the public to spend time in an interactive exercise, drawing endangered species as a first step to develop a heightened sense of empathy. For more information on this special program, please contact the gallery closer to the event date.
Dominique Paul is a multidisciplinary artist who works with photography, collage, drawing and performance with wearable structures, often interactive, displaying data related to environmental issues and the increase in social inequalities. Paul was awarded a double scholarship (Australian and Quebec Governments) for her MFA at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, and received another scholarship for her Doctorate in the Study and Practice of Arts from the University of Quebec in 2009. In 2019, she published an essay inspired by her thesis with L’Harmattan, Paris, Entre chair et lumière: De la possibilité d’une distance critique par l’objet-image. She has shown and performed at various national and international venues such as the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C and the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Antwerp. Her work is held in various international collections including the Smithsonian Museum Institution, D.C, the Contemporary Art Museum, Beijing, the Coppell, Mexico, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, the Arthotèque d’Annecy, France, and the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, Quebec, Canada. Paul has received generous support from Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec, Agglomération de Longueuil, Conseil des Arts de Longueuil, Encadrex and the Québec Government Office in New York.