Yumiko Chiba Associates viewing room shinjuku is pleased to announce a two person exhibition by Jiro Takamatsu and David Shrigley. We have been presenting the creative practice of Jiro Takamatsu each year since the gallery's opening. This year, from July 18, 2020, our staging comprises works by two contemporary artists.
Based in the UK, David Shrigley produces humorous, ennui-filled artworks across a diverse range of media, including drawing and sculpture. The work presented at this exhibition consisting of red neon tubes that form the letters EXIBITION is literally mounted on the wall of the gallery. It embodies the kind of critique of the places where artworks are displayed and of the art system itself known as 'institutional critique.' At the same time, however, from the form of the piece, which calls to mind feeble handwritten letters, one can probably glimpse Shrigley's strategy of above all maintaining a distance from the serious approach of contemporary art. Of course, Shrigley is also no doubt aware that letters fashioned out of neon tubes were frequently used in the conceptual art of the '60s and '70s.
In 1971, Jiro Takamatsu, who was a leading figure in the conceptual tendency in Japan during the dawn of conceptual art in the '60s and '70s, created Compound by placing one leg of a stepladder on top of a brick, making the entire ladder lean. As a piece that rigorously questions anew such concepts as the singularity and plurality of mono (objects) and the mutual 'relations' of things, Compound remains a noteworthy work in the history of contemporary art.
The letters EXIBITION hung inside the exhibition venue as Shrigley's exhibition are humorous on account of their semi-axiomatic nature. However, because of this meaninglessness, the EXIBITION neon sign dislocates the meaning of the letters and questions the nature of the existence of letters and language. In a similar way, by partially nullifying the function of the stepladder, Takamatsu's work could also probably be described as one that makes us rethink the nature of the existence of mono (objects) themselves. Both works seem to provide an opportunity to reconsider the existence of the things themselves by stripping the subjects of their meaning or function.
We hope that through encountering these minimal, intellectual works by two artists from different periods and countries, visitors will gain a greater appreciation of the variety and breadth of perceiving things.
Press release courtesy Yumiko Chiba Associates.
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