The exhibition features work by two artists echoing postwar visual culture’s questioning of the commodity and the construction of identity and cultural stereotypes in the increasingly globalized context of the postwar era. Found objects and images are an important source and endpoint for their work mimicing the body, its feelings, affections and fantasies in good and bad rêveries. Both artists assume the role of bachelors, unmarried to tradition yet highly engaged with its forms. Pop surrealism meets the Tropical Ready-Made.
E’wao Kagoshima first became known in Japan in the late 1960’s for his uncanny pop inflected sculptures of cups and paint cans held aloft by their cascading contents. His work eclectically reflects Pop Art, as much as Stuart Davis, Vija Celmins, Joseph Cornell, Surrealism and kitsch imagery. He exhibited sporadically throughout the 1980’s and was much a satellite figure in the East Village art scene of New York. Animating the everyday with preternatural sexual energy, his work navigates between mind expansion and childlike wonder. Kagoshima’s collages and paintings are “a different kind of art, one that, mirror like, closely guards its interiorities by coolly and delightedly reflecting back outward in the overwhelming glare we experience.” (Barry Schwabsky Natural Anti-Anturalism: Paintings – Flash Art January 1988)
In Da Cunha’s practice, seduction is articulated as a promise to make the unkown known and the known unknown. His work develops out of a dialogue with neo-formalist art, echoing the human body and its parts in a Duchampian way. The “Objet Trouvé” is central to his strategy of altering found objects like cans, bottles, brushes and pipes and animated with a sexual energy, staging them as pleasant deviators. Da Cunha’s works have been described as “Tropical Ready-Mades,” overflowing with desire trapped in exotic, aesthetic form, often mimicing modernist sculptures. Finding in common objects both an abstract purity of form and an endless potential for transfiguration and reconfiguration is the essence of the artist’s working process. Alexandre Da Cunha will be showing a new series of small sculpture and large canvasses. E’wao Kagoshima will be showing a series of collage and assemblage works from the 1980’s incorporating magazine cuttings and found objects.
Alexandre da Cunha (Brazil, 1969) lives and works between London and Sao Paulo. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Pivô, Sao Paulo; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Camden Arts Centre, London; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo; CRG Gallery, New York. His work has appeared in group exhibitions at ICA Boston, Boston; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Musee d’Art Modern de la Ville, Paris; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Witte De With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam and the 30th Sao Paulo Biennial. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Inhotim, Brumadinho; Rennie Collection, Vancouver and Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo. Forthcoming is a collaborative project with sculptor Phillip King at Royal Society of Sculptors, London in September 2018.
E’wao Kagoshima (Japan, 1945) currently lives and works in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Nagai Gallery, Tokyo; Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York; The New Museum, New York; Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York; Algus Greenspon, New York and Gregor Staiger, Zürich. Kagoshima has been included in exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; The Asian American Art Center, New York; The Laforet Museum, Tokyo and Osaka; Marlborough Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; White Columns, New York; Martos Gallery, New York; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; and Sculpture Center, New York. Forthcoming is an individual exhibition at The Box, Los Angeles.