Kohei Nawa, Throne (g/p_ boy), 2017 3-D printed object, gold leaf, 55 x 30 x 23 1/4".

Kohei Nawa

Galerie Vera Munro

Kohei Nawa’s exhibition “Throne” had an air of exacting elegance: Large-format works from the 2011– series “Direction”—canvases covered with diagonal bands of black on white—shared the gallery with slender sculptures from the “Ether” series, 2014–, made up of austere vertical sculptures structured via a rhythmic sequence of bulging and tapered segments. At first glance, everything suggested an experimentally inflected Minimalism. Other works, however, were at odds with this initial impression, most prominently _Throne (g/pboy), 2017, a hieratic golden sculpture crowned with spikes, from which the show took its title. Reminiscent at once of a traditional Asian cult object and an item from the decor for a fantasy film, it sharply departed from the prevailing austere simplicity.

Such contrariness, however, is key to Nawa’s art. Its discontinuities, parallelisms, and ostensible

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