Category: Exhibition Reviews

“From the Viewpoint of MAKING”

Kenichi Kanazawa, “What is Making?”, video, 19 minutes, 2021.
Courtesy of WhiteBox.

The current exhibition at WhiteBox, “From the Viewpoint of ‘Making,’ curated by Masa Hosojima, includes the work of five Japanese sound artists: Kenichi Kanazawa, Ken Ikeda, Rie Nakajima, Takahiro Kawaguchi, and Hosojima. The exhibition has also included collaborative panel discussions, and multimedia performances of music, dance, and poetry, during its month-long run. These discussions and performances have included the following artists: Elliott Sharp, Matt Sullivan, Beatrice Antonie Martino, Maho Ogawa, and Juan Puntes; poets Anthony Haden-Guest and Jesus Papoleto; as well as the following contributing scholars: Tom Cohen, Reiko Tomii, and organizer, Kyoko Sato.

In a conversation about, “Making,” Hosojima said, “The point of contact is what making is to me…to make, play, and exhibit.” This point of contact is also evident in Kenichi Kanazawa’s work, “What is Making?” (2021), a 19-minute video, commissioned by Hosojima. We see his hand holding the rubber mallet, the mallet hitting the steel circular disk, and sand moving on the steel disk. The vibrating disk acts as a platform for various geometric pattern formations. Kanazawa studies cymatics. He states, “…it is a visual demonstration of the power of sound to create order out of chaos. Sounds starts to move in geometric form.”

The actual geometric visual patterns that are formed by the vibrations are a mystery. In Kanazawa’a video and sound work, he has no control over the geometric patterns that are formed. In this way, “What is Making” has ”no sense of mission,” as Hosojima defined making. Instead, Kanazawa plays, generates, and lets it flow.

Image courtesy of WhiteBox

Hosojima aims to reevaluate Happenings in the 1950s and 1960s in how he sees “making.” As he and I walked around the exhibition together, I thought of Yoko Ono’s early … Click here to read more

“Ken Cro-Ken: The Conduct of Paint”

Art and Nature: A Collaboration

Image courtesy of WhiteBox Harlem

It is late one night, and you are out in nature, far away from the city, with your eye pressed up to the lens of a telescope. Distant planets and galaxies appear to be within the reach of your arm. But what would it look like, if the vastness of the universe were encapsulated in the palm of your hand? The answer lies in Ken Cro-Ken’s macro/micro paintings. These mini paintings, which are no larger than the palm of your hand, are nestled within larger paintings, offering alternative perspectives of the same slice of the multiverse. In his own words: “It is for the viewer to determine whether it is a microscope zooming-in for a closer look or a telescope that reveals the greater body from a distance. Which painting is the macro and which is the micro?” Cro-Ken’s playful relationship with the macro and micro forces of Nature is evident in all of his work – whether painting, sculpture, or video. 

The work of Ken Cro-Ken, self-ascribed ecosystem painter and environmentalist videographer, is currently on view at PS109 El Barrio’s Artspace in New York City, presented by WhiteBox in collaboration with 2B&2C. The one-man show, entitled Ken Cro-Ken: The Conduct of Paint invites the viewer into conversation with Nature, through exuberant improvisational paintings that simultaneously capture the great expanse of the universe and the delicate intricacies of time in motion. 

Working at the intersection of the microscopic and macroscopic, Cro-Ken considered himself a conduit for Nature’s expressivity, co-creating in concert with seasonal and elemental forces. Cro-Ken used chemical catalysts – what he called “Speed Elements” – to set his paintings in motion, and to reveal the invisible “push-pull” forces of Nature. These durational paint experiments were conducted in a … Click here to read more

Taney Roniger “Other Rivers”

Capturing a moment that will never occur again

Installation view of Taney Roniger “Other Rivers”. Courtesy of Robert Berry Gallery.

In her first virtual solo exhibition taking place at Robert Berry Gallery from February 11th – March 14th, 2021, New York-based artist Taney Roniger has created large-scale charcoal on paper drawings that are recreations of tiny gestural drawings that she had made in under a minute. These monumental re-creations take up to a hundred hours to create per work.

The original process of creating spontaneous gestures is all about capturing a moment that will never occur again. They are expressions of unconscious impulses, both internal and external. The laborious recreating the spontaneous is a way to preserve a specific moment of time. She understands that there is a bit of humor in the process, but it’s not about that. It’s about capturing the energy and uniqueness of an instant that is typically lost forever. Similar to her early work where the process of creating was depicted on the canvas by creating patterns and sequences of pin prick holes added to an ornately surfaced media. In those works, the specific process of creation is readily apparent to the viewer, whereas in these new drawings, one only sees the accumulation of time spent marking charcoal on paper. 

“Other Rivers #8”, charcoal on watercolor paper, 42 x 65 in | 107 x 165 cm 2020
Courtesy of Robert Berry Gallery.

Other Rivers refers to Heraclitus’s dictum that you never step in the same river twice, as the river is always changing, and so are you. It refers to the fact that the artist is trying to recreate something that cannot be re-created–a particular moment in time–so it’s not the same river but rather another. The charcoal drawings might be thought of as odes … Click here to read more