Kazumi Tanaka

Kent Gallery

As if to allay doubts concerning its status as art, kinetic sculpture tends, rather too predictably, either to eschew functionality entirely or to produce some “quirky” effect. Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York, bouncing and shaking itself to pieces on a stage at MoMA in 1960, is the Modernist patriarch of a whimsically Luddite line of sculptures—Rebecca Horn’s allegorical contraptions and the war machine that mangled the right hand of its creator, Marc Pauline, number among its many direct descendants.

The work of Kazumi Tanaka, a young Japanese sculptor, is on the whole no exception. However, what most immediately distinguishes it from other “art-gadgets” is a serene tastefulness. With their smooth blond woods, Tanaka’s devices add an Ikea touch to their rather typical Rube Goldbergian mechanisms. While several of the sculptures were fashionably interactive, they were also, anachronistically,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1995 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.