Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi: Review on ArtsuZe

Inside a typical LA strip mall, under a shop sign that reads “Best Cleaners”, no garments are being dry cleaned, but instead, narratives are being created. We love that Nonaka-Hill don’t take themselves too seriously, after all, a bit of levity always makes art more accessible. The gallery’s remnant signage especially enhances the mood in the current exhibition by artists Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi.

The exhibition weaves together a narrative of cosmology, evolution, civilization, and an acceptance of the inevitable. Rooms bathed in colored light forebode like the shepherd’s red sky in the morning. An intense atmosphere of red reduces a lone figure to surviving on an artificial island in a flooded field. The scene is solemn, but the title of “Eclipse Dance” suggests more liveliness than the limbless figure can manifest.

Moving into another room is like being transported to another age where the atmosphere holds different molecules that interplay with the light to give it a different color. In the icy coldness of the blue room, the world has gone topsy-turvy, as human haired mops hang from the ceiling and Mount Fuji tumbles upside down outside the window.

Stepping into the yellow room feels like entering a lost cave in the desert where sacred scrolls were hidden and forgotten. In this atmosphere of yellow, everything feels sterile, well preserved, well archived. The scrolls in the yellow cave tell the story of what happened, but the scrolls are not the only telltales. Artifacts in the other spaces also testify to our efforts.

An air of “oh well, that’s how it goes” pervades this exhibition of Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi. There is outward passivity, perhaps because of an inner optimism from knowing that we have the ability to accept and adapt.

This exhibition runs July 27 to August 31, 2019.


ArtsuZe, July 31, 2019


Best of L.A. Arts: The Galleries of Hollywood Media District, LA WEEKLY, August 16, 2019

Installation views: Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi

Installation views: Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi


Situated in a nondescript strip mall, right next to a 24-hour Yum Yum Donuts, the new Nonaka-Hill gallery’s storefront is still dominated by the big Best Cleaners sign that belonged to the space’s previous tenant. Launched last year, Nonaka-Hill primarily shows contemporary Japanese art. Through the end of August, the gallery’s unusual opening hours of 7 to 11 p.m. allow visitors to view the light-based installations of Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi while it’s optimally dark outside.

In September and early October, Nonaka-Hill will showcase the work of 20th-century conceptual artist Yutaka Matsuzawa, along with photographs by his close friend and collaborator Hanaga Mitsutoshi. Then, on October 12, the gallery will present works from the archive of Butoh dancer Tatsumi Hijikata, on loan from Keio University in Tokyo.

—Lyle Zimskind



Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito at ADRIAN ROSENFELD GALLERY

We are very proud of our collaboration with Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery to present Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito in San Francisco. And, wow, what a nice review!


In describing the opening scene of Godard’s Passion (1982), Harun Farocki has remarked that the shot’s unsteady pan—which follows an airplane’s disintegrating white contrail—is actually a register of “the movements of Godard’s eyes, scanning the sky to see what it can tell us.” Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito’s exhibition at Adrian Rosenfeld is a similar pan through the six-decade career of this power couple within the Minimalism movement. In Kuwayama’s Untitled (Diptych), 1969, a bisected blue panel measuring more than seven feet in both directions is mounted beside a bisected white panel of equal magnitude—a sky reduced to its most elemental components. Light falling across the canvases creates the illusion of a color gradient that shifts with the viewer’s position. Across the room, in Kuwayama’s Untitled, 1971, green and gray rectangular canvases of varying sizes are lined up in the convex shape of a bar graph. Like Naito’s works, which veer toward optical illusions, this self-reflexive piece nods to the fact that pattern identification is an essential function of vision, and data visualization has further trained the eye to assign values to shapes. But here, shapes and colors are illegible and devoid of information.

With this reduction of subject matter, other details become apparent: Kuwayama’s monotone paintings are often separated by aluminum strips that entrap the canvases. Hedges come to mind, or formal gardens in which plants are recast as geometric elements. While both artists' work suggests intensive studies of the natural, its hues and symmetries, there is also a brutality to the way each prunes away unwanted wildness. The restrained and proportionally perfect compositions remind the viewer of the artists’ integral roles in the nascent stages of Minimalism, when they worked alongside artists such as Donald Judd and Frank Stella, and Kuwayama showed at the Green Gallery. Kuwayama’s and Naito’s works are perfect, if perfection is understood as a sensual discipline.


— Theadora Walsh


Kazuo Kadonaga included in Collection Exhibition 2019 I at Toyama Glass Art Museum

Kadonaga Kazuo, Glass No.4 B, 1997, Collection of Toyama Glass Art Museum

Toyama Glass Art Museum collects and exhibits Japanese and overseas contemporary glass art, with an emphasis on works produced since the 1950s. In Collection Exhibition 2019-I, we present works from the museum’s collection, including pieces newly added this year, thematically organized under the two titles “Changing Scenes”and “Feature Exhibit: Czech Artists.”

1. Changing Scenes

Glass is melted until it becomes soft by heating it to temperatures so hot it cannot be touched with the hands directly, and then hardened again by cooling it. For some artists, these changes in the material itself and the forms that appear by accident amid these changes are important components of their expression. As well, because it transmits and reflects light, glass takes on various appearances depending on its surroundings and on the angle from which it is viewed. Combined with the expression of the individual artists, these characteristics also give rise to works that bring about changes in our perceptions of the objects and scenes around us. Here, with “changes” as a key word, we explore the relationship between the characteristics of glass as a material and the expression of the artists concerned.

2. Feature Exhibit: Czech Artists

In the Czech Republic, a major glass-producing region since the Middle Ages, there are many contemporary artistsmaking works using glass. In this feature exhibit, we present works by a number of Czech artists, including Stanislav LIBENSK. & Jaroslava BRYCHTOVÁ, who have had an enormous influence on contemporary glass art around the world. We hope you will enjoy thehighly creative and vigorous work of these Czech artists who, while devoting themselves to their own practices, have continued to develop new expression amidExhibition t itle: Collection Exhibition 2019 I

Collection Exhibition 2019-I
Toyama Glass Art Museum
Period: June 22 - December 1, 2019



Kentaro Kawabata curated “±8 — A Group Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics”

Kazuhito Kawai, “Suidobata", 2019, ceramic, 23 x 24 x 23 cm ©Kazuhito Kawai

Dates: July 12 – September 8, 2019
Location: SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
Opening Reception: July 12, 6-8pm

Presenting works by: Kentaro Kawabata, Kazuhito Kawai, Tony Marsh, Keita Matsunaga, Akio Niisato, William J. O’Brien, Sterling Ruby, Kouzo Takeuchi

SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce “±8”, an exhibition featuring eight Japanese and American artists who work with ceramics. Curated by Kentaro Kawabata, a Japanese ceramist of the emerging generation, this group exhibition introduces up to date development of ceramic as sculptural medium from an artist’s perspective, a position that is closest to the current of representation.

Although ±8 may appear like a simple symbol, it can in fact be interpreted in various ways. For example, when slightly shifted, ± can look like the Kanji character “土” which stands for “earth” or “soil.” When artists each engage in producing work, I believe that those who create through means of addition is able to convey their distinct characteristic the moment they subtract something or another, and conversely, the distinct characteristic of those who create through a process of subtraction, indeed comes to manifest when incorporating additional elements. I decided to include this in the title as I recognized the importance and necessity of this internal contemplation surrounding ±. The ‘8’ not only refers to the number of artists who are featured in the exhibition, but also takes into account the fact of it being considered a lucky number in Hong Kong. Furthermore, ‘8’ comprises of ‘0’ and ‘0’, and when placed on its side represents infinity. Instead of ±0 that is familiar to many, I felt that ±8, conceived by simply adding another ‘0’, was interesting to have as the title.

By Kentaro Kawabata

Often inspired by nature’s self-generation and renewal, the forms of Kentaro Kawabata’s works, such as the meandering rims created through the busy workings of the thumb and index finger, encompass a sense of vitality –instilling the pieces with a sense of organic vitality. Kawabata likes to experiment and observe the outcome of combining various materials with glaze after firing the ceramics. Blending with glass to create a watercolor-like clarity, and applying silver then onsen (Japanese hot spring) to make volcanic-like objects; Kawabata’s ceramics give the impression of breathing agglomerated landscapes.

As an artist trained with knowledge and understanding of western contemporary art, Kazuhito Kawai’s encounter with ceramics upon his return to Japan has largely inspired his openness of creativity. Kawai’s works with their dynamic colors and forms convey the irregularity, ugliness, grotesqueness and vulnerability, which clay embodies. The repeated collages of clay attached to the vessel reflect a dialog between the clay and the artist, also presenting a layered representation of the artist’s inner self and state of mind.

For over 30 years, Tony Marsh has devoted his artistic practice to the exploration of ceramic vessels. In Marsh’s early work, the vessel was an arena within which he explored themes of fertility, union, death and creation by arranging evocative symbolic abstract forms within the interiors of carefully designed prototypical vessel forms. In a subsequent body of work that evolved over 15 years, Marsh created an endless array of thin-walled, hollow, abstract shapes and perforated them as densely as possible in an effort to replace the mass with light and dematerialize form, rendering the work as ethereal. The recent body of work “Crucible” are ceramic cylinders in which resides real and imagined allusions to physical sciences, earth formation, geographic phenomenon, force, pyroclastic work, time and landscape. They are transformed from the artist’s curiosity and stimulated innovation which was originated from the observation of phenomenon during the process.

Keita Matsunaga’s works, both functional ware and sculpture, derive from the same process. First, he sketches the geometric form using CAD software. The clay, strongly pressed by the artist against the surface of the plaster mold, extends, curves and forms hemisphere shape shells. The rawness and roughness of clay confront the structured architectural form –the contrast serving to reflect Matsunaga’s originality. His representative series, “Monuke” (meaning “empty shell from molting” in Japanese) comprise of two hemispheres combined, leaving the inside empty. This emptiness conveys lonesomeness and hollowness, while also representing the spiritual state of deliverance.

Akio Niisato’s representative work “Luminescent” consists of vessels created by making perforations in translucent white porcelain, and filling each of the holes with clear glaze before firing. The works which give the impression of emitting light in themselves are conceived through independently developing the Chinese technique of ‘hotarude,’ which enable translucent patterns to emerge when it carries the light, with their luminescent appearance likened to a firefly. In addition to this technique that attempts to explore ways of vessels that transcend contexts of the everyday, in recent years he has engaged in producing works that while rooted in tradition, give form to the natural traces that are born out of the dialogue between the materials and his own body.

William J. O’Brien explores the potential of a diverse range of media including paper, clay, textiles, ceramics, steel, found objects and everyday materials. While O’Brien is best known for his ceramic sculptures, he begins his work by drawing. The colorful geometric patterns in his drawings are made through a process similar to Surrealist automatic writing techniques and evoke various U.S. visual cultures such as those related to psychedelia, op art, abstract expressionist painting, and architecture. The playful ceramic works, which are adorned with bright glazes, refer to a broad range of cultural elements such as ethnography, traditional crafts, poetry, pop and psychedelic cultures, and gay minimalism.

Sterling Ruby is an artist who appropriates diverse aesthetic strategies in his practice, from saturated, glossy, poured polyurethane sculptures, to drawings, collages, richly glazed ceramics, graffiti inspired spray paint paintings, and video. His work is a balancing act, maintaining a constant tension between a multitude of elements. Dealing with issues related to the violence and pressures within society and art history, Ruby’s creations also reflect his personal history. In all of his work, he vacillates between the fluid and static, the minimalist and expressionistic, the pristine and the defaced.

Inspired by photos of ancient ruins in South America, Kouzo Takeuchi started creating ceramic sculptures formed of square tubes to express the unique ambience of decayed structures. The unexpected breaking of one work eventually led to the birth of the artist’s renowned “Modern Remains” Series in 2006, in which he engaged in breaking other finished tubes with a hammer to create dynamic beauty and raise new aesthetic values in ceramics. Through methods such as breaking and removing sections of materials before the firing process, Takeuchi persists in searching for the perfect balance between original forms and their deterioration in his experimental geometric works.

Artist Biographies

Kentaro Kawabata was born 1976 in Saitama and currently lives and works in Gifu. After graduating from the Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center in 2000, Kawabata began winning awards for his work, including the Kamoda Shoji Award at the Mashiko Pottery Exhibition (2004) and the Paramita Museum Ceramic Award (2007). His work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at highly-reputed ceramic institutions, including “The Power of Decoration: A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei (Studio Crafts)” at the National Museum of Modern Art’s Crafts Gallery (2009), “Phenomenon of Contemporary Ceramic” at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum (2014), and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu (2004, 2010).

Kazuhito Kawai was born 1984 in Ibaraki. He graduated from the Fine Art Department at Chelsea College of Arts, University Arts London in 2007 and completed his studies at Kasama College of Ceramic Art, Ibaraki in 2018. He currently lives and works in Kasama, Ibaraki. Kawai held his solo exhibition at House in Kasama, Ibaraki in 2017.

Tony Marsh was born in New York City in 1954 and lives and works in Long Beach, California. He spent 3 years in Mashiko, Japan at the workshop of Tatsuzo Shimaoka from 1978 to 1981. He teaches in the Ceramic Arts Program at California State University Long Beach in Southern California, where he served as the Program Chair for over 20 years. He is currently the first Director of the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at CSULB. Marsh has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. His works are housed in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mad Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, the Oakland Museum of Art, Gardiner Museum of Art, Toronto, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Keita Matsunaga was born 1986 in Tajimi, Gifu. After graduating from the Architecture course at Meijou University in 2010, he began his studies at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center and later continued his studies at Kanazawa Utastuyama Kogei Kobo. Matsunaga currently lives and works in Tajimi and Kani, Gifu. Matsunaga has participated in group exhibitions at Taina Art Museum (2019) and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2017). Matsunaga’s work is included in public collection of the Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo.

Akio Niisato was born in 1977 in Chiba. After withdrawing from his studies at the Philosophy Department, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Waseda University, he went on to study at the Tajimi City Ceramic and Design Center where he received his Diploma in 2001. His selected awards include the Award for New Artist, Premio Faenza 54th Edition (2005, Italy); Grand Prize, Paramita Museum Ceramic Competition (2008); Jury’s Special Award, International Ceramics Festival MINO; Incentive Award, Kikuchi Biennale (Tokyo, 2009); and Award for New Artist, MOA Mokichi Okada Award (Tokyo, 2014). He continues to receive high acclaim for his works, with participation in numerous exhibitions both in Japan and overseas including the United States, Italy and Romania.

Born 1975 in Ohio, William J. O’Brien is an artist who currently lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). His major solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2014), The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2012) and the Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago (2011). O’Brien has received awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2011), and Artadia: The Fund for Art & Dialogue (2007). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Clinic; Miami Art Museum; and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Born in 1972, Sterling Ruby lives and works in Los Angeles. Ruby’s solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2012), travelling to Centre D’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012) and to Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2013), Winterpalais, Belvedere Museum, Vienna (2016), De Moines Art Center, Des Moines (2018) and Nasher Sculpture Center (2019). His works are included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm among others.

Kouzo Takeuchi was born 1977 in Hyogo Prefecture. After graduating from Osaka University of Arts in 2001, he continued his studies at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center, Gifu. Takeuchi has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at highly-reputed institutions, including The 13th Paramita Ceramic Grand Prize Exhibition (Paramita Museum, Mie, 2018); Syuen Museum, Taipei (2016); “La Ceramique Japonaise” (Espace Culturel Bertin Poiree, Paris and Galerie IAC Berlin, Konigswinter in 2014 and 2013); “Contact 4: Japan – Korea Ceramic Exhibition” (The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, 2005). His works can be found in the public collections of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Sernuchi Museum, Paris; The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo; INAX Tile Museum, Aichi; and Louis Vuitton, Japan.


SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, opened by Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo is a new concept-based retail shop in Starstreet Precinct, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The SHOP aims to create an experimental retail space that transcends the boundary between “gallery” and “shop” by inviting different artists and designers to freely explore the spatial design and exhibit selected works and other products in approximately three-month cycles.

Taka Ishii Gallery opened in 1994 and for approximately a quarter century since, it has represented Japan’s most important photographers including Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Naoya Hatakeyama, painters, conceptual artists, and up-and-coming artists. The gallery was also one of the first in Japan to look abroad and regularly participate in foreign art fairs such as Art Basel and the Frieze Art Fair, playing an important role in establishing the reputations of its artists abroad. At the same time, it has organized exhibitions of works by highly acclaimed foreign artists such as Thomas Demand, Dan Graham, Sterling Ruby, Cerith Wyn Evans and young foreign artists on the rise, proactively introducing trends in Euro-American contemporary to Japan. In February 2011, Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film, specializing in photographic works, opened. Gallery founder Takayuki Ishii also established the Fine Art Photography Association in May 2014 to help the further development of the Japanese photography scene, which has a unique context.


Masaomi Yasunaga's review on Los Angeles Times

Gravel, glass and glaze: The radical ceramics of Masaomi Yasunaga

by Leah Ollman

If Masaomi Yasunaga's astonishing ceramic sculptures were parts of speech, they would be at once both nouns and verbs. They are extraordinary objects, tactile things with insistent, engrossing physicality. They are also so process-oriented, so action-driven, that they seem in some sort of continuous temporal motion, existing simultaneously in multiple tenses: present and past, conditional and subjunctive.

Some 30 vessels rest on a raised bed of gravel running the length of Nonaka-Hill gallery in L.A. The installation evokes a raised tomb, reinforcing an impression of the works as excavated, unearthed. Many have surfaces encrusted with stone bits. One large bowl appears entirely comprised of rubble, its walls a thick, white, rocky crust, pocked with voids and graced with passages of glassy jade and violet. Other pieces are more delicate — a little cup, for instance, with walls like a fine, crisp shell, nests within another, just slightly larger, to yield an intimate meditation in umber and taupe.

For every rugged and raw gesture, there are others with roots in refined tradition, jars with graceful silhouettes and finely shaped handles. Relics from ancient Rome come to mind — urns and oil lamps. Across a long shelf in the adjoining space parades a lyrical little menagerie: vessels in the form of birds, a turtle, perhaps a snail. Nearby sits a stunning, small cup of aqua glass with a white-rimed lip and grit-barnacled base, suggesting oceanic salvage and organic decay. Yasunaga titles this piece, and several others, “Sai,” meaning to break or collapse. “Tokeru Utsuwa,” defined as melting vessel, is the name of a few other pieces. The forces of erosion act here as a kind of generative impulse, unmaking as inspiration to make.

Material transformation is fundamental to ceramics, but what Yasunaga does with clay, glaze, ash and glass is radically inventive as well as profuse in metaphorical resonance. Many pieces are identified as made only of glaze. Through a process involving burial in sand, soil or stone, Yasunaga turns what is conventionally used as a skin to sheathe a clay body into a body itself, both bone and flesh. Extracting the works from the kiln and placing them atop a bed of gravel furthers the notion of reciprocity between what is below ground and what is above, between archaeological time's expansive breadth and the immediate now of touch, utility and sensual reverie. The work feels at once primal and urgent.

Yasunaga has exhibited extensively in his native Japan, but this is his first solo show in the U.S. In turns raw and elegant, it is never less than thrilling.


Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito's review on KQED

Review: At Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, an Intro to a Lesser-Known Chapter in Minimalism

When Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery arrived at Minnesota Street Project’s 1150 25th Street location (down the street and up the hill from the main gallery building), the first thing I heard was, “You have to check out the library.” Push open the gallery’s large door and you’ll see not white walls, but floor-to-ceiling thick walnut shelves holding thousands of art books. And often, set invitingly before them: a plump leather couch.

So despite its potential intimidation factor (blue chip work, collaborations with fancy international galleries, the aforementioned giant door), Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery is inviting, usually well worth a visit, and currently even more so.

Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito, an exhibition of husband-and-wife artists organized in collaboration with the Los Angeles gallery Nonaka-Hill, spans six decades of work. Trained as Nihonga painters (traditional Japanese figure painting), Kuwayama and Naito moved from Tokyo to New York in 1958, where they quickly shed their formal training and entered the emerging minimalist scene.

Rubbing elbows with Donald Judd, Ad Reinhardt and Frank Stella, Kuwayama and Naito’s work shifted to color fields, hard-edged geometries and delicate aluminum frames. Their paintings from this period are eerily precise, the acrylic surfaces rendered without a single hint of brush bristles—let alone a human hand. Some of Kuwayama’s paintings even have an iridescent sheen, adding to their otherworldly aura.

While Kuwayama’s pieces in the show, covering 1962 to 1991, demonstrate a singular dedication to form, Naito’s works within a similar time frame range across media, playing with dimensionality and illusion in the bounds of an often-square frame. Most recently, those frames provide space for the accumulation of delicate stuffs: twists of aluminum wire and coils of Japanese paper.

What emerges throughout the exhibition is the sensation of these precise, illusionistic and vibrant paintings filling in some blanks. Why do we (or at least I) know Judd, Stella and Reinhardt, but not Naito and Kuwayama? In belated answer, there’s a berry-colored painting at Adrian Rosenfeld that argues quite persuasively not to be ignored or forgotten in the sands of art historical time.

© 2019 KQED Inc.


Kazuo Kadonaga included in “Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections” at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Kazuo Kadonaga, Glass No. 4 L, 1999, Glass. (1477 lbs. / 670 kg.), 24-1/4 x 39 x 39 inches, 62 x 99 x 99 cm

Tandem exhibitions offer a rare presentation of sculpture from two of Dallas’s most renowned collections.

In celebration of the Nasher Sculpture Center opening in 2003, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky, Dallas-based patrons and collectors of art made after 1945, mounted an installation of sculpture at The Rachofsky House—a space that for many years served as both a private residence and a semi-public place to view works from their collection. The Rachofsky’s installation, titled Thinking About Sculpture, complemented the Nasher opening by exploring how definitions and methods of sculpture-making evolved in the postwar years. Between the two spaces, the collections presented over 125 years of sculpture in all of its various forms, from works by such modern artists as Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, or Medardo Rosso at the Nasher to those by contemporary living artists, including Janine Antoni, Maurizio Cattelan, and Marc Quinn, at The Rachofsky House.

Reprising and expanding on that pivotal year for sculpture in Dallas, Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher and Rachofsky Collections features two Dallas collections in dialogue throughout the Nasher galleries. Presented side-by-side, works in each collection illustrate how artists continually seek out new ways to interpret, investigate, and redefine traditional notions of sculpture. In the Entrance Gallery, Mario Merz’s haystack and neon sculpture faces Claes Oldenburg’s oversized stainless steel and aluminum typewriter eraser, juxtaposing Arte Povera and Pop art and the ways these two contemporaries approached similar ideas of outmoded technology and everyday objects through strikingly di ferent materials. Selections in Gallery I, the Foyer Gallery, and Corner Gallery emphasize formal, material, and conceptual relationships among works by such artists as Sol LeWitt and Lee Ufan, whose sculptures reveal a shared interest in the exploration and activation of space; Alexander Calder and Atsuko Tanaka, who each revolutionized how we think about line in space; and Martin Puryear and Anne Truitt, with their painted wood sculptures that mimic, and at the same time humanize, Minimalist sculpture. The pairing of these two Dallas collections offers a true celebration of the creative, energizing spirit of sculpture in its diverse formal and thematic investigations.

Continuing the collaboration with The Rachofsky Collection, selections from the Nasher Collection are also on view at The Warehouse—the Rachofsky’s exhibition space located in North Dallas. The companion presentation, titled The Sensation of Space, expands upon ideas set forth here. Public tours of The Warehouse will occur on a monthly basis, providing visitors to the Nasher the opportunity to make connections and continue the dialogue between the Nasher and Rachofsky Collection works distributed between the two institutions. Information about this related exhibition is available at the Admission Desks. 

Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher and Rachofsky Collections is co-organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in partnership with The Warehouse, Dallas. Major support for the exhibition is provided by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. 

© Photo: Kevin Todora courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center.

“Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections”
May 11, 2019 - August 18, 2019
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas


Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco

Tadaaki Kuwayama, Untitled, 1971, acrylic on canvas with aluminum, 12 panels

Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito

at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco
in collaboration with Nonaka-Hill

June 28 - August 17, 2019

Nonaka-Hill is pleased to announce Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito, an exhibition at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery in San Francisco. The co-organized show features works by two groundbreaking Japanese artists. Kuwayama and Naito moved to New York as a young couple in 1958, as Abstract Expressionism’s influence began to wane. Invigorated by debates animating the New York scene, they became formative figures in the development of Minimalism.

Working alongside colleagues like Donald Judd, Frank Stella, and Dan Flavin, Kuwayama began experimenting with monochromatic painting in the early 1960s. His works appeared in solo shows at the Green Gallery in 1961 and 1962 and three years later in Lawrence Alloway’s famous Systemic Paintingexhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Since then, Kuwayama has perfected a unique surface for his multi-panel works made with paint and aluminum and created transformative installations with serial forms in various metals and unconventional colors.

Soon after settling in New York, Naito began investigating the nature and limits of visual experiences in paintings that deconstruct perspectival systems and master the vibrational effects associated with contemporaries like Bridget Riley and Josef Albers. More recently, she has turned to photocollages and monochromatic sculptures made with Japanese paper. Both bodies of work evoke the natural world even as they appeal to a very human desire for precision, regularity, and repetition.

Bridging six decades of work, Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito offers a glimpse into the richness of these artists’ long careers, celebrating their converging interests in geometry, texture, and serial form as well as the ways their respective practices have diverged over time.

Works by Tadaaki Kuwayama are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Rakuko Naito's work is in the collections of the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut; the Kemper Art Collection, Chicago; and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Buenos Aires.

Rakuko Naito, Untitled, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 52 x 52 inches

Rakuko Naito in the studio, 1965

Tadaaki Kuwayama in the studio, 1960s; photo by Paul Katz

Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery
1150 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10AM-6PM and Saturdays 11AM-5PM.
The exhibition will be on view from Friday, June 28 through Saturday, August 17, 2019.


Miho Dohi's review on Los Angeles Times

Review: Miho Dohi turns scrap materials into sculptural poetry

by Christopher Night

Small-scale sculptures by Miho Dohi are like handmade driftwood, a kind of cultural debris that has been carefully shaped into poetic forms by unseen forces. Scrap materials get unexpected new life.

Eight table-top sculptures, two on the wall and one suspended from the ceiling are in the artist’s Los Angeles debut at Nonaka-Hill Gallery. Based in Kanagawa, Japan, south of Tokyo, Dohi calls her sculptures buttai — objects — a usage that locates them somewhere between the cherished and the everyday. Her materials are humble, even mundane — paper, wire mesh, cotton batting, yarn, chunks of scrap wood — but they have been assembled with self-evident precision.

Juxtapositions are certainly eccentric, as when small pieces of copper screen are trimmed in tufts of raw cotton, or a small wooden lump is crowned with a droopy paper disk. Metal strips are applied as nominal handles for things that will only be picked up in the imagination, while lengths of twisted yarn are further bound with thread.

Move around Dohi’s objects, and the shapes shift — one side looking nothing like the other. Her compositions are additive — one thing attached to another and then another — but always the forms end up turning back in on themselves.

It’s as if growth is something internalized rather than expansive, the capacious quality a trait of the object alone rather than something dependent on its relationship to the space around it. Classical Japanese arts of refinement are deeply embedded in the work, but any established language of circumscribed control is energetically rebuffed. Inventiveness is prized over constraint.

Like Richard Tuttle’s sculptures made from scraps, Dohi’s diminutive objects radiate an element of pathos. Yet they burst with lively eccentricity too. Resolutely abstract, her sculptures are cutting-edge spirit catchers.


Kazuo Kadonaga included in “WITH US IN THE NATURE” at Kröller-Müller Museum

Kazuo Kadonaga included in “WITH US IN THE NATURE” at Kröller-Müller Museum, The Netherlands (Feb 16, 2019 - May 9, 2019).

Gilbert & George’s “‘The Paintings’ (With Us in the Nature)” from 1971 is on view at Kröller-Müller Museum, The Netherlands, exhibited with seven sculptures from the collection in which the complex relationship between humans and nature is expressed in different ways. The sculptures are by Kazuo Kadonaga, Giuseppe Penone, Nicholas Pope, Bill Woodrow. “With their attempt to recreate a lost feeling, the G&G simultaneously expose the emptiness of the idea of nature as an unspoilt paradise: the landscape in which they sit, stand or stroll around is just as much made by human hands as the church, the fences and the brick walls that are visible in the landscape.”

Kadonaga’s commercially forested wood works uphold and upend notions of purity through the artist’s interventions with the materials.  His “Wood No. 5R”, 1978 was sliced lengthwise into hundreds of veneer-thin layers and reassembled.  Kadonaga’s “Wood No. 11M” was scored geometrically on one end and hit with a mallet, resulting in lengthwise expressions of the impact and a transformation of the original geometric scores on the log’s opposite end.

Images: Gilbert & George, "The Paintings" (with Us in the Nature), 1971 - detail; Giuseppe Penone, Sentiero, 1983-1984; Kazuo Kadonaga, Wood No. 5 R, 1978 / Wood No. 11 M, 1981; Nicholas Pope

© Kröller-Müller Museum, photo Marjon Gemmeke


Kansuke Yamamoto: A discussion with John Solt

Nonaka-Hill and PAC•LA was pleased to present a morning discussion with Dr. John Solt on Saturday, November 3rd.

John Solt is a poet, award-winning translator and scholar specialized in Japanese Surrealism and avant-garde poetry.  He is associate-in-research at the Edwin O. Reischaur Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University and he was poet-in-residence at Vajiravidh College in Bangkok.  In 1998, Solt produced the video “Glass Wind: Kansuke, Kit-Kat and Kazuo”, which includes the only remaining 8mm films by Kansuke Yamamoto.  Solt was responsible for bringing the photographic work of Kansuke Yamamoto to the attention of the Tokyo Station Gallery, which led to the major exhibition “Surrealist Kansuke Yamamoto” (YouTube), co-curated with Ryuichi Kaneko, and contributed to the accompanying monograph “YAMAMOTO Kansuke: Conveyor of the Impossible”.  Solt was a contributor to Getty Museum’s 2013 exhibition and catalogue, “Japan’s Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto”.  

John Solt authored “Shredding the Tapestry of Meaning: The Poetry and Poetics of Kitasono Katue” (Harvard University Asia Center, 1999).   A frequent collaborator of Yamamoto’s, Katue’s work was subject of the solo exhibition “Kitasono Katue: Surrealist Poet” at LACMA in 2013, to which Solt contributed to significantly.  (LACMA video).  

At our Photographic Arts Council event, Solt discussed his relationship with Kansuke Yamamoto, described the times in which Yamamoto and his peers worked to advance avant-garde thought in Japan.  He read Yamamoto’s poetry, and one of his own:

Yamamoto Kansuke: Conveyor of the Impossible

he saw through the prism
of his one cracked eye

and took us behind a mirror
merging dreams with non-dreams

his collages of positives and negatives
glimpse the world of ghosts

boats float along underwater breasts
the sun eye sets on the horizon

his swirling face with umbrella in hand
in a rain-soaked room in underwear

day by day incrementally
he unraveled illusions

a bed hangs in the sky like a cloud
inviting us to roll over and awaken

⁃poem by John Solt

Special thanks to John Solt, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck and PAC guests who attended.


TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art  Benefit auction including work by Kazuo Kadonaga

The 20th Anniversary of TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art 
Benefit auction including work by Kazuo Kadonaga

Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas
View the Auction Catalogue

Each living thing, plant or animal, has a soul: my art is revealing the soul.
– Kazuo Kadonaga

When Kazuo Kadonaga began making art in the early 1970s, he turned to a familiar material: wood. Kadonaga’s family ran a lumber mill, and the material and craft associated with it are certainly familiar to him. Yet, rather than alter the material for commercial use, Kadonaga set out to reveal its essence with minimal artistic intervention. In Wood No. 11 BK, Kadonaga cuts a grid of lines in one end of a cedar log. As the wood responds to Kadonaga’s suggested grid, it splits in ways that reveal the inherent properties of the material, seen in the shifting lines that travel the length of the drying wood. The result is a kind of quiet conversation between Kadonaga and the cedar log. Kadonaga’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous public collections in the US and Japan.


Kazuo Kadonaga: Production video for Glass No. 7 series

© Kazuo Kadonaga