kyoto

LG Williams/Estate of LG Williams, Imagine Picasso but Better, No. 39, 2010, digital print mounted on Plexiglas, spotlights. Installation view.

LG Williams/Estate of LG Williams

Super Window Project

LG Williams/Estate of LG Williams, Imagine Picasso but Better, No. 39, 2010, digital print mounted on Plexiglas, spotlights. Installation view.

LG Williams’s caustic commentary on the state of contemporary art is as poignant as it is funny, and his latest show at the Super Window Project gallery in Kyoto was bound to make one do a double take. Yet there was nothing declamatory or political in what he did or how he did it. In the buildup to the “aha!” moment when his ideas finally revealed themselves, one could simply enjoy the pieces on view—fifteen meticulously produced ink-jet museum labels bearing the titles of missing artworks. The labels themselves are perfect, formally speaking; they could thrive purely on their aesthetic merit, but it is Williams’s edifying gonzo attacks on the vulgarity permeating art and culture all around us that brought his work to a whole different level.

Aptly titled “In Absentia,” the recent exhibition by the Japan-based American artist was about the absence of the artwork, both physical

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