Shinro Ohtake

Tokoro Gallery

In 1987 Shinro Ohtake mounted a “comeback” show following a three-year absence from the gallery scene, and startled the local art world with the breadth and fertility of his imagination. He exhibited dark, evocative canvases, in which the splattered painterly values frequently assumed as much importance as collaged printed matter (pornography, product wrappers, comic strips, and postcards) and objects (scrap metal,driftwood, and stones). Though the straight paintings exhibited remarkable drawing skills, the work was perhaps too wild, too predictably expressionistic (the dead meat, the howling faces). In general, however, Ohtake’s imagination defies readymade designations.

Ohtake has his share of detractors, who consider him merely “trendy,” and accuse him of quoting from too many up-to-date sources. Though these objections will probably continue to haunt him, in the meantime, Ohtake has

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