The Japanese artist Chinatsu Ban creates imaginative narratives using a recurring cast of figures, primarily little girls and elephants, and objects, such as apples and ice cream, in her drawings and large-scale acrylic paintings, which initially suggest the whimsy of children’s book illustrations. Since the artist’s childhood, the elephant, which is now her central motif, has been a source of comfort.
The British painter Nigel Cooke combines realism with abstraction in canvases that seem to represent scenes of urban decay. In Cooke’s atmospheric works—some of which measure more than twelve feet in length—foregrounds populated by detailed depictions of debris are juxtaposed with airy, nearly abstract backgrounds that evoke crumbling concrete walls tinged with graffiti. The Modern’s FOCUS exhibition features seven works by Cooke, including one newly completed canvas making its debut.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: End of Time is the first major retrospective of one of Japan's most important contemporary artists, Hiroshi Sugimoto. This exhibition represents the first chance to survey Sugimoto's work in significant volume, including his series Dioramas, Seascapes, Theatres, Portraits, Architecture, Sea of Buddha, and Conceptual Forms.
Like many contemporary Japanese painters, Hiroshi Sugito (born in 1970) was trained in the traditional Japanese painting style known as Nihonga (Nihon means “Japan” and ga means “painting”). The Nihonga technique utilizes ground pigments made of natural materials such as minerals, shells, and coral applied to handmade paper. Sugito achieves a visual similarity to this technique in his paintings by using layers of acrylic paint. In his works he also refers to the formal spatial arrangements of N
For more than thirty years, Chuck Close has explored the art of printmaking in his continuing investigation into the principles of perception. This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Close's involvement and accomplishment with the varied forms and processes of printmaking. Featuring approximately one hundred works dated from 1972 to 2002, Chuck Close Prints illustrates the artist's range of invention in etching, aquatint, lithography, handmade paper, direct gravure, silkscreen, traditional Japanese woodcut, and reduction linocut.
The three bodies of work represented in FOCUS: Adam Fuss include images of water droplets, butterfly chrysalises, and children, and each of these series was produced with a different photographic technique. The water droplet images are photograms, a cameraless process invented at photography’s inception in which light and chemicals produce a unique image on photo-sensitive materials. The pictures of children are gelatin silver prints, a standard twentieth-century darkroom method; and the chrysalises are pigment prints, a present-day process.
Sean Scully is one of the most admired painters working today. He works and exhibits throughout the world, with active studios in the United States, Spain, and Germany. Scully's Wall of Light series is his most important series to date.
Nicholas Nixon: The Brown Sisters has recently been acquired for the Modern's collection. This series of thirty-one black-and-white portraits of the artist's wife and her three sisters offers a compelling look at both portraiture and familial relationships.
British sculptor Cornelia Parker is fascinated with real-world processes that mimic cartoon “killings” and “deaths,” such as steamrolling, shooting things full of holes, falling from cliffs, and explosions. Parker works with a variety of found objects, including silverware and marching band instruments, which she crushes, stretches, and suspends. She has also blown up structures, such as a garden shed, whose parts she then makes into a mobile that is hung from the gallery ceiling.
The inaugural Focus exhibition features the photography of Vera Lutter, who is inspired by the urban landscapes of big cities. The artist first began to capture the spirit and flow of Manhattan by experimenting with the principles of the camera obscura—turning her loft apartment into a large pinhole camera to create and print negative imagery. Lutter records the immediate inscription of light onto photo-sensitive materials, resisting further traditional processes that produce a positive image.