December 5, 2019
Tadaaki Kuwayama
4 Dec 2019 — 31 Jan 2020
at the David Richard Gallery in New York, United States

News

David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce “Construction / Material,” a solo exhibition of paintings and installation artworks by New York-based artist Tadaaki Kuwayama on view from December 4, 2019 through January 31, 2020 at David Richard Gallery located at 211 East 121 Street, New York, New York 10035, P: 212-882-1705. The presentation contains 6 significant works that span from 1965 to 1999, including: two monochrome acrylic paintings on canvas subdivided into quadrants with aluminum strips from 1965; a larger silver monochrome acrylic painting on canvas bisected with an “X” made of aluminum strips from 1974; a large painting measuring 84 inches square comprised of 6 vertical panels of alternating metallic brown and grey paint joined together with aluminum strips; an installation work from 1992 comprised of 12 panels measuring 24 inches square and in three sets of four metallic colors including: pink, yellow, blue and green on Bakelite board; and last, a large installation work from 1999 consisting of 12 planks of anodized aluminum measuring 86.5 x 7 inches each in alternating colors of pink and silver.

Kuwayama is known for his minimalist artworks that are made of reductive shapes that function as building blocks. The shapes are transformed into artworks by the artist assembling them into constructions of multi-component individual works as well as site-specific installations that transform a space with an immersive experience.

Color is the focus and primary element for Kuwayama and the reductive shapes are the vessels for the pigment. He explores different materials for the supports as the provide unique interactions between the pigment and light, thus the colors shift and change. His use of metallic paints and anodized aluminum create entirely different viewing experiences as the color reflects or shifts with changes in the light source, angle of the light as well as distance and position of the viewer. Scale became another important parameter for Kuwayama’s works. As the constructions became larger, turning corners and viewed on multiple walls simultaneously, the colors were different on different walls or even along the same wall due to the interplay of the pigment, physical surface of the supports, source and angle of the light and the viewer’s position and engagement.

Monochrome painting was and is not the focus of Kuwayama’s artwork per se, it became the vehicle along with the reductive shapes of squares and rectangles that allowed him to the explore color in subtle and elegant ways. His toolkit for such explorations included a host of materials (canvas, acrylic, metallic paint, Bakelite, aluminum, titanium) along with his constructions and scale of those constructions. The other key variables that are less in his control over time, even with site specific installations, include light and the viewer for reasons noted above. The combination of these elements creates powerful, thoughtful artworks that are serene and meditative, while exhilarating and dynamic at the same time, albeit low key.

The descriptions and discussions of the artworks are not important to Kuwayama. He is concerned with the final objects themselves when assembled and installed. Then, it becomes about the viewing experience, challenging perceptions of color, space and infinity. That is why his artworks are reductive and minimal, with no reference or representation, detached all emotion and subjectivity so that it becomes an individual experience and comprehension for each viewer.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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