Friday, July 15, 2011

exhibition: incomplete

I'm now reading the catalogue of Tadanorii Yokoo show Incomplete - What's yours is mine. What's mine is mine, which was held in 2009 at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary art in Kanazawa. Tadanorri, a true pioneer in the realm of postwar Japanese visual and pop culture, at the age of 29 was catapulted into the upper echelons of the booming Japanese avant-gard art warld of mid 60s. thanks to his most remarkable graphic art posters.

His bright colour palette and pastiche-like images culled from pop culture proved incredibly popular and soon Yokoo became a much sought after designer, being commissioned to create not only posters for the theatre and art world but also ad campaignes. He also began to paint. His works from that time present bold images of women (pink girls) who brazenly expose themselves as they never would normally.

After producing 20 of these paintings over May-June of 1966, which gain him a label of art world bad boy, Yokoo distanced himself from painting until early 80s. when he decided to move away from graphic art and become full time painter. Yokooo's painting style varies greatly, from almost photorealistic depictions to highly impressionistic. I don't have any particulare style, he syas. The look of the painting changes to suit the subject matter or theme. Though, as with his graphics design works, Yokoo's paintings have their own set of recurring motifes. One of them is a series of Y-junction paintings that depict a deserted intersection in an anonymous Japanese town, with a narrow, dilapidated building, a bar or restaurant of some sort, wedged between the two forks in the road. The time of day, weather conditions, and identifying markers like shop and street signs vary with each painting, but the cumulative effect is one of devastating bleakness and isolation. The Y intersaction paintings are reminiscent of the works of Giorgio de Chirico (Italian Surrealist) best known for his depiction of large, empty plazas with looming buidings and monuments.

Yokoo is one of the star artist at this year's Yokohama Triennale, for which he painted 15 works representing a new development in the Y-junction series. This deeply coded and personal series can be perceived as a crossroad of now at which one is force to choose one of two options.
Interview with Yokoo Tadanori.

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