More New Year Exhibitions: Higashi Kanda

Jay Davis
False Woods, 2009,
8×10″
Acrylic on vinyl
Image courtesy of the Motus Fort gallery

Davis is one of over half a dozen artists in the group show “Drrreeeeaaaaammmmmsssssssszzzzz!!!!” at the Motus Fort gallery. His four paintings on view are done in multi-layered acrylic which plays up the translucent quality of the pigment, exposing plane upon plane of glaring lights. These appear to slide in and out of the foreground, emphasizing dreamscapes that are stabilized, at least in thee of the works, by a grid of tree trunks. Davis’s pendant works Happy Boat (2009) and False Woods (2009) are separated by Dan Kopp’s Tree Mover of the same year. Thematic and iconographic similarities among these (the artists, according to the dealer Jeffrey Chiedo, shared a studio) set the three works in a dialogue that continues to unfold in the space of the show. The other works in the exhibition range from photographs, to gouaches to 3D objects, are by Kenny Komer, David Kennedy Cutler, Joseph Ari Aloi, Annie Wharton, Mark Gibson, Alin Huma and Chris Jahncke.
View of “Metamorphsis-objects today: Vol.7 Kengo Kito” at αM gallery

Just around the corner, the αM gallery (a non-profit, managed by Musashino Art University) was showing a very peculiar installation by Kengo Kito. The whole space is upholstered in plaid fabrics of contrasting colors, and most of the walk about space held an assemblage of umbrellas and parasols of various elks. As I squeezed between one of the walls and an umbrella cluster I could not help but think of Anish Kapoor’s current installation at the Guggenheim in New York. There, an imposing structure of Cor-Ten steel is placed so that in order to view (or experience) the piece one has to approach it from three separate vantage points accessible though three different galleries. The idea behind Kapoor’s approach is making the viewer reconstruct the work in its entirety based on a sequence of views. Kito’s piece, on the other hand, functions by way of simultaneous under and over stimulation as the tangibility of space is reduced by the same cloths that overwhelm the sense of vision. The exhibit, “Metamorphsis-objects today: Vol.7 Kengo Kito” is curated by Kazuo Amano of Toyota Municipal Museum of art.

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