Matteawan Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Kazumi Tanaka. The exhibition runs through July 3 and there will be a musical performance in the gallery on Saturday, June 11 at 7:00 pm.
The work in Wind & Rain started with Kazumi Tanaka’s visit in summer 2015 to the UNESCO World Heritage site A-Bomb Dome and the Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, Japan. Tanaka made a tiny unplayable piano using her own hair as strings for a show in Hiroshima to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It was a testament toward the effects of radiation on the human body during the bombings, as well as a reaction to the ongoing recent nuclear disaster in Japan. Tanaka became aware that the decisions made by a few people have consequences that effect the smallest and the weakest on our planet.
Tanaka began to create other tiny musical instruments, this time incorporating small animal skulls, a seashell, wood, hair, and other materials that are eerily small and fragile, yet are also powerful and thought-provoking. For Tanaka, the instruments are a meditation on memory and loss. Another aspect of the instruments is that they can actually be played, and the artist has collaborated with several musicians to help explore creating sounds with them. Tanaka looks forward to the spontaneity of these performances and to letting the instruments speak for themselves. Her original drawings of the small instruments will be included in the exhibition, along with a limited edition hand colored print of the drawing for Messenger, an instrument made with a groundhog skull.
Also on view in the exhibition are a series of drawings made during Tanaka’s residency at the MacDowell Colony in Fall 2015. In these works the artist uses coffee as the medium to create watercolor landscape drawings, including views of paths through dense trees, and a sunflower. During her time at MacDowell Tanaka was immersed in nature, and through these drawings she reexamines the cycles of nature to learn to accept the changes in our lives.
The final sculptural work in the show is Recording, which combines an old record player with a record made of Tanaka’s hair that spins in silence. She often uses her own hair as raw material in her work because it evokes intimacy, sense of loss, and memory. Born in Osaka, Japan, her work explores memories of her childhood and reflects on the cultural differences and complexities between Eastern and Western cultures, as well as larger issues of life, death, and regeneration.
Kazumi Tanaka’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions in museums and galleries, including a solo show at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA in 2014. She has also shown at Miyauchi Art Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan; Neues Museum, Salem, Germany; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Kent Gallery, and Red Bull Studios, NYC; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY; and the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY. Tanaka has participated in residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH; Civitella Ranieri Center, Umbria, Italy; Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Art Omi International Artists’ Residency, Ghent, NY; “Salem2Salem,” Salem, Germany; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Her work has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Boston Herald, and Art in America. Tanaka was born in Osaka Japan and moved to New York when she was 25 years old. She currently lives and works in Beacon, NY.
For additional information please contact Karlyn Benson at email@example.com.
New York, NY – The presentation of Robert Irwin’s Excursus: Homage to the Square3 (1998–99) at Dia:Beacon will mark the return of the work to public view, approximately fifteen years after its premiere at Dia Center for the Arts in New York City. Beginning on June 1, 2015, audiences will be able to experience Irwin’s “site-conditioned” installation in the museum whose master plan he created. The new installation of Excursus: Homage to the Square3 was developed specifically for Dia:Beacon and will be accompanied by a symposium and a publication.
“Excursus: Homage to the Square3 is one of the most important displays of Irwin’s environmental installations that—through the manipulation of existing architecture—explore physical, sensory, and temporary states,” commented Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “It is a great privilege to install this work at Dia:Beacon and return it to public view, highlighting for audiences the unique interconnections between Irwin’s artistic and architectural practices.”
The work began as a site-specific installation titled Prologue: x183 that occupied an entire floor of Dia Center for the Arts, Dia’s former exhibition space in New York City, during the spring of 1998. The piece featured white fluorescent lights that were installed within eighteen cubic chambers and defined by floor-to-ceiling scrims; the windows were covered with custom-fabricated blue-and-gray theatrical gels, providing visitors with a maze-like environment of subtly changing shadows to explore. Months into the installation, Irwin took the opportunity to further incorporate color into the piece by wrapping each set of fluorescent lights in complex combinations of vividly colored gels. This new work was retitled Excursus: Homage to the Square3 and, as its subtitle suggests, the work exemplifies the influence of painting on his practice by invoking the geometric affinities and color relationships adapted from the renowned series by Josef Albers (1888–1976).
The new installation of Excursus: Homage to the Square3 at Dia:Beacon will represent a singular manifestation of Irwin as an artist. Moving from his interior gallery layouts and flow patterns to the architectural interventions evident throughout the building to the landscaped gardens and forecourt that he designed, audiences will have the opportunity to experience an environment in which Irwin has touched virtually every facet.
“Excursus: Homage to the Square3 invites audiences to explore the work of art. What is so unique is that there is no beginning, middle, or end. Audiences can enter the work from a variety of entry points,” said Yasmil Raymond, Curator, Dia Art Foundation. “It has been such an honor to work closely with Irwin, a pioneer of the L.A.-based Light and Space movement of the 1960s, to reconceive this project for Dia:Beacon and create a long-term plan that will allow Dia to share this work with future generations.”
Maintaining Dia’s philosophy of displaying single-artist presentations for extended periods of time, Excursus: Homage to the Square3 be on view at Dia:Beacon for two years.
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