The Hole is proud to announce our third solo exhibition by Misaki Kawai "Pine Cone Times." Two Octobers ago she brought us "Cave Life" painting the entire gallery yellow with black cave paintings and animal furniture and three years before that we got a giant black combable dog sculpture and fluffy pink paintings (and combs!) for "Hair Show,” so we are super excited for this year's October Misaki surprise.
Apparently this October it is pine cone time! From her home base in Osaka, Japan, Kawai traveled to Vermont where she and her family lived and worked this September to make the show. "Pinecone Pond" which included a big barn and meandering river was the setting for the creation of these paintings. Made with acrylic paint and river water, all artworks were created al fresco and occasionally enjoyed the support of Kawai's 3-year-old daughter Poko.
These new paintings are what Misaki calls "sloppy style" or the hasty, brushy improvisational style that she has implemented many times in her career. It captures her inventiveness and sense of humor that is an intrinsic part of "Heta-Uma" or "Good/Bad" style of artmaking that developed in Japan.
Faces are so wrong they are right, the flower pot is so misshapen that it is perfect, the dog's face is deformed but evocative. That is the approach of Heta-Uma and here we find both misshapen dogs and cats, girls and boys, flowers and footwear. With a no-comment black background in every piece, the oddities themselves are presented straightforwardly. She isn't making a scene, or an environment; her work is more deadpan symbolic like that of Donald Baechler or King Terry in Japan.
It has been fifteen years since her amazing debut solo show in NYC at Clementine Gallery! Kawai has exhibited widely, in recent years mostly at institutions. She has had a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007); a solo show at one of Japan’s leading private institutions, Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006); she was included in “Greater New York 2″ at PS1 Contemporary art center, New York (2005); “Fun” at Rhiimaki Art Museum Finland (2012); and presented solo museum exhibitions at Malmo Konsthall (2012) and at the Children’s Museum of Art in New York City (2012) .
Major works in the MOCA Los Angeles and the Watermill Center NY have garnered attention in 2015 and 2016. In 2009 she was included in “Visions of the Frontier” at Institut Valencia d’Art Modern and “I Believe: Japanese Contemporary Art” at the Museum or Modern Art, Toyama. She has recently exhibited with V1 Gallery in Copenhagen and Loyal Gallery in Sweden, as well as Take Ninagawa in Tokyo; a recent exhibition and solo booth at NADA with Eric Firestone garnered a lot of attention as well last year. This year she presented solo exhibitions at Avenuel Art Hall, Seoul and Lotte Gallery in Busan. She lives and works in Osaka when not traveling extensively.