Kazuko Miyamoto: Works 1964 - 1980
Opening Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
On View September 7th – October 25th, 2017
MEMORY OF (for Kazuko Miyamoto)
By Yuko Otomo
In search of lost time,
I spread a sheet of invisible mist
on the hard floor, alone at night,
to place objects of various memories;
big & small; tangible & intangible; fragile & solidified.
Soon, the floor becomes a dark ocean.
In its immensity,
I see myself as a tiny fish.
In search of lost time,
through familiar & unfamiliar dust,
through brown bags twisted in a ritualistic form,
through stretched hard constructions of soft strings
supported by an abundance of nails,
through nonchalantly assembled weathered twigs,
through tortured sheetrock,
through mischievously erotic loose fabrics,
through obediently reformed old newspaper articles,
through lost time,
I keep swimming
till I lose sight of myself
in the ocean’s immortal weight & immeasurable depth.
Is it morning? Or afternoon? I don’t know.
But I know that I am in a room
full of windows of light/shadow.
I do not hear too much sound
except for my own beating heart.
Bewildered by the fresh sensation,
I walk around the room.
Soon the room turns into a landscape, breathing,
spotted with a thick forest, a winding river, a deep valley & a quiet meadow.
Responding to this expansive scenery,
with an innocent & natural awe,
I suddenly become a bird.
I fly, circling around the sky above
& rest my wings occasionally
on the tree branches, on the grass, on the rocks & boulders
of my life: the history of my art.
Whenever I brush against a breeze called MEMORY OF,
I un-bashfully call my first name & greet my very self,
simply saying “ Hello Kazuko, How are you?”
I hear my voice echo
in unison with my lost time
in the vastness of light/shadow
ever so clearly.
KAZUKO MIYAMOTO has lived and worked in New York City since 1964. She was born in Tokyo in 1942 where she studied art at the Gendai Bijutsu Kenkyujo (Contemporary Art Research Studio). She moved to New York in 1964 and attended The Arts Student League of New York (1964–1968).
We are thrilled to present historical and significant work by Miyamoto from the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Miyamoto makes installation, paintings and drawings, using a playful minimalist vocabulary. The late 60’s and 70’s was one of Miyamoto’s most fertile and important periods of production. We are showing some of her most significant string constructions, Female I (1977 – 2017) and Male I (1974 – 2017). The show is complemented by diagrammatic, subtle drawings, and minimal paintings.
Early in her career, Miyamoto worked as Sol Lewitt’s assistant and became interested in minimalist and post-minimalist attitudes. She adopted from Lewitt a serious investigation of modular forms, repetition, and geometry. In her work, she explores geometry, female forms of craft, body relationships, and quotidian materials. She uses fallible materials to poke fun at the machismo associated with Minimalism’s “forefathers”. She prefers materials that are organic and simple. Her strategies are gestural rather than precise. It’s not about the perfect architecture of space. Rather it is about producing marvelous spatial interventions out of common materials. Some of Miyamoto’s most distinct works are her constructions in string. She fabricates complex linear designs with string attached to nails. She utilizes a combination of wall, floor and/or ceiling, to draw with string in three dimensions. The works confront the scale of the viewer. They accentuate the found architecture in the installations’ exhibition space. Most dramatically, they utilize modest materials to make incredible spatial transformations. In addition to using string, Miyamoto discovered in the early 80’s that she could use brown paper and twigs as well. She made two hanging paper sculptures. We are happy to present one, the other is in Sol Lewitt’s collection.
Our exhibition runs concurrently with the artist’s exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery, an artists’ run space in Brooklyn that has had a mandate to only exhibit female artists since 1972. Miyamoto was an early member. Her work will be shown as part of The Unforgettables Program. To highlight Miyamoto’s historical significance, A.I.R. Gallery will be re-presenting “Constructed Bridge” made of paper, rope, and twigs (1980 – 2017). The simultaneous exhibitions indicate a long overdue emphasis on Miyamoto’s importance as an artist in the 70’s in New York City.
KAZUKO MIYAMOTO has been the recipient of Federico II: Premio Internazionale di Pittura; Italy in 2003, the Francis J. Greenburger Foundation Award in 2003, and the National Endowment for the Arts, CAPS in 1979 & 1980.
Select Public collections include: David Hammons, Heide and Hanna Streick, Lentos Art Museum, Linz, Austria, Marilena Bonomo, Museum of Modern Art, Print Collection, NYC Nancy Spero and Leon Golub
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan Neue Gallerie der Stadt, Linz, Austria Princeton University Art Museum, Sol LeWitt Collection, Tadanori Yotsuda, Wadsworth Antheneum, and Werner Kramarsky
Selected Reviews include Invisible-Exports; Artforum in 2014, Kunst aus Fäden; Welt am Sonntag, Germany in 2009. The East Hampton Star, November 10th; Art from Detritus in 2005 , Art in America, Lodz Biennale in 2004, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, May 20th; Quando la Material si Rifa lo Spirito in 2004 , The New York Times, July 25th, by Jennifer Dunning in 1998 , Artforum, January, by Jean Silverthorne, (p.74); Midsummer Night‘s Dream in 1998 , The New York Times, December, by Grace Glueck; Midsummer Night‘s Dream in 1998, and Arts Magazine, May, by Janet Heit, (p.16) in