I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Since the 1960s, Tatsuo Kawaguchi has worked to reveal the crucial yet hidden relationships between disparate entities, such as between man and nature, the visible and the invisible, and the past (or future) and the present. He has explored these dynamics through over 100 distinct bodies of work in a diversity of media and materials, ranging from oil paintings and happenings to mirrored sculptures and environmental installations. He has written that 'art is something that doesn't merely express a private world but must in some way function universally and shed light on the condition of being human.' In other words, his practice is about something much greater than self-expression. It is about communicating collective truths.
In 1965, Kawaguchi established himself as a key figure in the postwar Japanese avant-garde by co-founding Group 'i' (meaning 'unit'), a collective that collaborated in and around Kobe City to execute some of the earliest-known happenings in the east. More broadly, the group sought to eliminate emotion and subjectivity from their work, instead seeking an 'impersonal,' cerebral art that both mirrored and arguably presaged foundational ideas in western Minimalism. In 1970, Kawaguchi was selected to participate in the 10th Tokyo Biennale, Between Man and Matter, which curated leading Japanese artists alongside western contemporaries like Carl Andre, Sol Le Witt, and Richard Serra to explore the common interests, themes, and working methods uniting artists around the globe.
Also in 1970, Kawaguchi created the first work branded with the prefix that would come to define his practice for the next four decades and beyond: relation. Used in the title of most pieces he has created in the time since, 'relation' became the means by which Kawaguchi began illuminating ideas too abstract or poetic for us to recognize in our everyday lives. Whether communicating the individual’s connection to society, the present moment’s place vis-à-vis the vastness of history, or several other cerebral yet lyrical concepts, these overlooked relationships have motivated Kawaguchi to continue evolving creatively—and reshaping our understanding of the world—for over 50 years.
Tatsuo Kawaguchi was born in Kobe, Japan in 1940 and earned a BFA from Tama University of Fine Art, Tokyo, in 1962. He has shown extensively in Japan and internationally since, including in such historically significant exhibitions as the aforementioned 10th Tokyo Biennale in 1970, the Paris Youth Biennale in 1973, and Magiciens de la terre at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989. His work resides in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, among others. He lives and works in Chiba, Japan.
The State of This World: Thought and the Arts, the second of the Ashiya City Museum of Art and History’s Art Trip exhibitions, this time focuses on four contemporary artists’ works that are in some instances inspired by archaeology. They address issues of seen and unseen worlds, life and death, and the past speaking to the present.
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