Sikkema Jenkins & Co presents KEIICHI TANAAMI | TONY FEHER, KAY ROSEN
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Keiichi Tanaami, Mirror surface, 2015
Acrylic paint, digital pigment print, silk screen print, glass powder on canvas
Diptych: 67.75 x 78.75 inches (172 x 200 cm) overall
VISIBLE DARKNESS, INVISIBLE DARKNESS
MARCH 17 - APRIL 23, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 6-8 PM
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present Visible Darkness/Invisible Darkness, a solo exhibition of paintings by Keiichi Tanaami, on view at the gallery from March 17 to April 23, 2016. This is the artist’s second solo show at the gallery and his first solo exhibition in America to feature new large-scale paintings.
Tanaami, born 1936 in Tokyo, has had a decades long career working in a broad array of mediums including graphic design, film, collage and animation. Since the early 2000s he has been making mixed media paintings. This body of work contains powerful images drawn from dreams and memories, most notably those from his experiences as a child during World War II. Animated skulls and fighter planes are depicted in many of the paintings; however, some of the more grotesque and unusual images come from a single vivid memory of rushing with his family to a bomb shelter while catching sight of bomber planes and search lights through his grandfather’s goldfish tank. The lurid and dramatic lights bounced off the fish and tank, creating a surreal scene. While horrifying and scary, this visually powerful moment held a sense of wonder and awe that remains with the artist to this day.
Tanaami came of age in post-war Japan and began his career in advertising. Finding the work artistically unfulfilling, he ventured into the burgeoning 1960s Japanese art scene and began making collages and films influenced by American mass culture, B movies, and a trip to New York where he visited Warhol’s factory. He befriended artists from the Japanese anti-art movement Neo Dada Organizers while they were making their groundbreaking work. Like other Pop artists he was also inspired by eroticism, an impulse that eventually led him to become an editor of Playboy Japan in 1975.
Reflected in the new paintings featured in the exhibition is Tanaami’s engagement with his contemporary artistic environment and continued reimagining of traditional Japanese iconography. Cherry blossoms, Guzei bridges and Buddha figures are featured alongside roosters and tigers, inspired by the work of Ito Jakachu, an 18th century scroll painter. Tanaami, now in his 80s, is making his largest and most technically ambitious work to date. Unique to his practice in terms of scale, the new paintings are emblematic of Tanaami’s evolving career and myriad international influences.
Tanaami has been included in the recent exhibitions: International Pop at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern, London; Unorthodox at the Jewish Museum, New York; Puddle, pothole, portal at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, New York; Japanese Underground Cinema Program 6: Radical Experiments in Japanese Animation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and No More War at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin.
Philadelphia’s International House will host an evening of Tanaami’s films from the 1970s on March 15th at 7pm. The event is organized in conjunction with exhibition International Pop, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through May 15.
TONY FEHER, KAY ROSEN
MARCH 17 - APRIL 23, 2016
From March 17 through April 23, 2016, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. will present works by artists Tony Feher and Kay Rosen in the back galleries.
With wit and humor, both Tony Feher and Kay Rosen exploit the formal characteristics of their chosen artistic materials - the familiar physical material of everyday life in the case of Feher, and the material of language for Rosen - to create their work.
Feher’s installation of fluorescent pink flagging tape - used to mark boundaries in surveying or construction - first draws notice for its brilliant color, but on longer inspection the viewer begins to notice the dance of the delicate ribbons hanging from the ceiling, quivering in the gentle currents of air as if the room itself was breathing.
The vertical arrangement of Feher’s installation is echoed in Rosen’s new acrylic gouache paintings on watercolor paper. As with Rosen’s more recent body of work included in her 2014 gallery exhibition, Blingo, the content and support are integrated and mutually dependent. For the works in the current exhibition, the vertical orientation of the paper and text, the standardized size, and the limited back and white palette work in concert to evoke meaning from strict self-imposed parameters.
Tony Feher was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956, and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, with early stops in Florida and Virginia. He received a BA from The University of Texas, and currently resides in New York City. Feher’s work can be found in important international public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.
An in-depth retrospective organized by Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the university of Houston, premiered at the Des Moines Art Center in 2012, and traveled to the Blaffer Art Museum; the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; and Akron Art Museum. A fully illustrated monograph published by Gregory R. Miller & Co. was published to accompany the survey.
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas and based in the Midwest, Kay Rosen turned her attention to art after her early academic study of language. Since then her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and institutions both nationally and internationally, including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where she had a retrospective exhibition in 1998-99 organized by Connie Butler and Terry R. Myers; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; MASS MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; the Whitney Museum of American Art in both the 2000 and 1991 (as part of Group Material’s “AIDS Timeline”) Biennials; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, as well as in solo gallery exhibitions across the U.S. and Europe. A solo exhibition of her work, Kay Rosen: Baroken, will be on view at Philipp Pflug Contemporary in Frankfurt from April 9 – May 21.
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