Opening reception: Saturday, February 23, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is very pleased to present a solo exhibition of Susumu Koshimizu, one of the principal figures of Mono-ha (School of Things), a group of Tokyo-based artists who were central to the Japanese avant-garde during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This is Koshimizu’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and his first solo presentation outside of Japan. It follows the critical acclaimed survey Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha, curated by Mika Yoshitake, assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, held at Blum & Poe in February 2012.
Working both indoors and outdoors, the Mono-ha artists explored the encounter between natural and industrial materials, such as charcoal, dirt, stones, steel plates, glass, paper, wood, plastic, rubber, rope, leather, oil, and water. Their usually transient arrangements focused not only on their respective material qualities, but also on the interdependent relationships generated by specific placements within a space. From early on, Koshimizu’s investigation of material and space resulted in some of Mono-ha’s most definitive artworks.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Koshimizu started to explore specifically the structure of surfaces. This exhibition will focus on a single installation, From Surface to Surface (Wooden Logs Placed in a Radial Pattern on the Ground), (1972/2004). The work is composed of thirty, thirteen-foot-long square beams of wood, the surfaces of which have been sliced at varying intervals and angles to create undulating expanses of geometric form. First shown at the 3rd Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition in Kobe's Suma Rikyū Park in 1972, this installation won Koshimizu the Ube City Open-Air Museum Award. Following showings at Yokohama Portside Gallery in 2004 and Kyoto City University of the Arts in 2010, the display at Blum & Poe marks its North American debut.
Susumu Koshimizu was born in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, in 1944, and currently lives and works in Kyoto and Osaka. He studied in the sculpture department at Tama Art University, Tokyo, from 1966 to 1971. Since then, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Japan, including at the Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu; Ehime Prefectural Museum of Art; Kuma Museum of Art; and Kyoto City University of the Arts. His work has also been included in landmark surveys, such as Reconsidering Mono-ha, National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2005; Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London, 2001; Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1994; São Paulo Biennale, 1983; and Tokyo Biennale ’70: Between Man and Matter, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 1970.