Bridging almost a century of Brazilian art, Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia at Blum & Poe in New York (30 April–22 June 2019), hosted in collaboration with Mendes Wood DM, offers a rereading of Brazilian Modernism through the works of artists practising at different times, from the 20th century through to the...
In 1969, Horikawa Michio, schoolteacher and member of the artist collective GUN (Group Ultra Niigata), filled out the customs paperwork to mail a one-kilogram river stone from Niigata, the proverbial 'backside of Japan', to President Nixon. In return, Horikawa received a thank you note for this 'most unusual Christmas gift'—a muted anti-war...
'He was not a "political" kind of person. He just wanted to be honest and straight. But it was not easy in Korea to live like that,' writes curator Kim Inhye on artist Yun Hyong-keun. For much of his life, Yun lived in proximity to some of the most tumultuous moments in modern Korean history, from which he emerged as a pioneer of abstract...
Noboru Takayama has spent nearly half a century exploring themes of memory, the body, and the tension between opposing forces. Raised in the physical destruction and political unrest of post-World War II Japan, he most often related these concepts to the perils of modernization. In recent years, though, his work has transcended particular social and historical contexts in order to place viewers in a state of radical awareness of themselves, their environment, and the connection between the two.
In 1968, Takayama began using what has become his signature material: railroad ties. At the time, he saw them as sacrificial 'human pillars'—bodies destroyed by the changing personal and professional culture brought about by Japan’s postwar restructuring. In the 1970s, he began coating his railroad-tie installations in tar and creosote to add an olfactory element, augmenting the works’ presence beyond sight alone. Soon after, he sometimes began interposing the ties with other remnants of industry (such as concrete blocks and used motor oil) or signs of domestic life (such as beds or wheelbarrows) to provoke viewers even more directly: Rather than impersonal, apolitical abstractions, the installations came to 'confront' the viewer as much as the viewer confronted them.
Since 1983, Takayama has also explored his central themes in a series of works on paper called Emergence of the Memories. Primarily composed of graphite, aluminium powder, and casein, he considers these pieces 'performance drawings,' similar to Sho calligraphy. Each composition represents the artist’s spontaneous effort to capture the atmosphere and presence of a particular place when he enters it. In that sense, the works incorporate Takayama’s interest in the ways that memory, both personal and collective, informs our bodily experience in the everyday.
Noboru Takayama was born in 1944 in Tokyo, Japan. He earned a BFA and MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts, then later went on to professorships at the Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, and his alma mater, where he continues to teach today. He has exhibited widely in Japan and abroad, including at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France, in 1973; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (now MoMA P.S.1) in 1990-91; the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, in 1997 and 2000; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea, in 2009. His works resides in permanent collections throughout Japan, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Art, Osaka, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
Born 1944 Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
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