All of Masato Kobayashi's artworks have no fixed forms, but are free and flexible. His style of painting while stretching the canvas is unprecedented. The titles of his works refuse to be categorized with anonymity, such as A Son of Painting, Unnamed, and Nameless Horse. Can we really call these paintings? But, to backpedal for a moment, who decided that images exist within a defined square, detached from reality, when nothing in this world is complete in itself?
Masato Kobayashi says that everything in this world is "the scenery of paintings." And there are various "frames" in this world. Without social frameworks, the frameworks of reality, and so on, nothing would exist. Therefore, "freedom," as Kobayashi describes it, does not mean that one can ignore the framework and act as one pleases. Rather, it is a question of how human beings use their imagination to cut out the world, how much of the endlessly expanding reality a painting can take on in its body, how an artist sets the outer frame of such a painting, and how those things affect the freedom of art.
This exhibition consists of three large floor-standing works. The new work, Artist, was originally part of a work created for his solo exhibition Starry Paint in 2004 in Tensta Konsthall, Sweden. Standing 2 x 10 meters, the huge work was cut into pieces by Kobayashi at the end of the exhibition and brought back to Ghent, Belgium, as fragments. As many of them were transformed into small star-like works, so will this work appear in the present space as a completely new entity. A Model of This Planet (Cowgirl Taking Off Her Gloves), which was created from the physical traces of a model, and Unnamed #66, which has traveled to various places from his studio in Tomonoura, Hiroshima, are all works that should be experienced by all of the senses. More than 25 years have passed since Masato Kobayashi created his first floor-standing painting in Ghent. Please look forward to this exhibition of new artworks by Masato Kobayashi, who has continued to embody the freedom of art and artists.
Press release courtesy ShugoArts.