New York

Tomiyaki Yamamoto

Akira Ikeda Gallery | New York

If there is any future to abstract painting, then Tomiaki Yamamoto’s paintings strongly suggest one: a mannerist direction—the theatrical reconciliation of stylized contradictions. Many abstract artists think that this century is only the start of abstraction, whose development will probably be as long as the development of the figure. Though Mannerism may seem to have arrived prematurely, this is to be expected: in modernity every development is sped up and condensed, as though consuming itself.

The flamboyant, ingenious triptych Festival, 1993, a veritable extravaganza of gesture and geometry—of simulated abandon and control—says it all. The huge central panel is a field of red—its upper corners clipped and its lower corners notched to suggest that it is an open passage or spread kimono, or both (other Yamamoto works use gateways explicitly). The lower part is in the process of being

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