Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculptures by Susumu Koshimizu. This is Koshimizu’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Koshimizu was one of the core figures of Mono-ha (School of Things), a movement that radically redefined the Japanese art scene during the late 1960s and early 1970s with ephemeral installations of natural and industrial materials. From early on, Koshimizu’s investigation of material, surface, and space resulted in some of Mono-ha’s most iconic artworks. At the Paris Youth Biennale in 1971, he exhibited From Surface to Surface (Wooden Logs Placed in a Radial Pattern on the Ground) (1971), a circular arrangement of thirty pine beams sliced at varying intervals and angles.
In the mid-1970s, Koshimizu began his Working Table series, which develops the ideas initially explored in From Surface to Surface. The surfaces of these sculptures are variously incised with pools of water, or supplemented with stacks of branches and elongated protrusions reminiscent of horns or ribs. Koshimizu has expert knowledge of carving, joinery, and the qualities of wood and has made sculptures out of pine, cedar, cherry, birch, cypress, hemlock, paulownia, oak, maple, chestnut, and zelkova.
Koshimizu debuted his Working Table series internationally at the Venice Biennale in 1976. However, the sculptures were lost at the close of the show. The Working Tables in this exhibition are conceived as a variation of these lost works, consisting of four tables whose carved surfaces form an interlocking series of geometric patterns. Juxtaposed against the gallery’s expansive view of the Meiji Shrine forest, these sculptures are a meditation on the quality of wood in its natural and manmade states.
Susumu Koshimizu was born in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, in 1944, and currently lives and works in Kyoto and Osaka. He studied in the sculpture department at Tama Art University, Tokyo, from 1966 to 1971. Since then, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Japan, including at the Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu (1992); Ehime Prefectural Museum of Art (1992); Kuma Museum of Art, Ehime (2005); and Kyoto City University of Arts (2010).
Following his inclusion in Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha, curated by Mika Yoshitake and held at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in 2012, Koshimizu has been featured in many landmark surveys, most recently: Other Primary Structures, Jewish Museum, New York (2014); Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013); and Parallel Views: Italian and Japanese Art from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, The Warehouse, Dallas, Texas (2013).
Previously he was included in Reconsidering Mono-ha, National Museum of Art, Osaka (2005); Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London (2001); Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1994); São Paulo Biennale (1983); and Tokyo Biennale ’70: Between Man and Matter, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (1970).
Press release courtesy Blum & Poe.
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