Category: Exhibition Reviews

Yuna Ogino

Through COVID cocoon, acclaimed Japanese artist Ogino brings a new perspective to NYC

“My painting is so to say an accumulation of questions about different elements, forming many layers.” – Yuna Ogino

Installation view of Yuna Ogina’s “RELATE” . Courtesey of Mizuma & Kips.

Artist Yuna Ogino is one of the most acclaimed artists of the new generation of Japanese artists. By developing a distinctively striking style, her works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Yuna Ogino (born 1982, Tokyo, Japan) lives and works in Tokyo. Besides traditional medium, the multi-talented artist has also expanded her boundaries beyond painting by expressing artistic value into textiles, books, and performances. Yuna’s innovative style has been awarded and praised in public collections and spaces. With inspirations from ikebana flower arrangements and Japanese gardens, she weaves lights and colors onto the blank canvas, bringing to life her thoughts and memories. If you have followed her work, you know her painting technique is full of joyful color and intriguing lines that represent both the strength and vulnerability of plants and insects. She turns metaphorical representation to maternal richness with a refined design that continues a gorgeous tradition of Japanese decorative society. 

But the COVID-19 imprisoning experience was turning Ogino to a new dimension and forcing her to see human struggle in the whole. The outbreak forced her stay at home life to become a central focus, with little emotional connection to allow her to see humanity and suffering without gender, age, and race. This newfound understanding of we (the whole world) are all suffering under the pandemic changed her palette and inspired her to produce figurative oil paintings in a 7-foot-high canvas. They are debuted at Mizuma & Kips Gallery (324 Grand Street, New York, NY, November 10th – December 7thClick here to read more

Leah Guadagnoli’s “Love Lies Bleeding”

“Shape, color, and organic form”

Installation view of Leah Guadagnoli’s “Love Lies Bleeding”. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart

Leah Guadagnoli’s “Love Lies Bleeding” is her first solo show with Hollis Taggart since joining the gallery in 2020. Her three-dimensional wall sculptures are bold, organic, and tantalizing. Taking place from October 14th– November 13th, 2021, the show offers nine new works all created this year.
The artist lives and works in New York’s Hudson Valley town Hillsdale. Obtaining her BFA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MFA at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she already has an impressive exhibition list under her belt including solo shows at the conceptually focused Asya Geisberg Gallery and the influential Victori + Mo (now Dinner Gallery), and collective exhibitions at leading galleries Freight and Volume and White Columns. In addition to her painting practice, she currently teaches at the University at Albany.

Featuring nine new works drawing heavily on their physicality, materials used include acrylic, canvas, polyurethane foam, and insulation board to create innovated new compositions that test the boundaries of conventional painting. Once the viewer examines her objects from all vantage points, to view the sides and also tops of the pieces, they will notice the organic and flowy shapes, painted with pastel inspired colors in acrylic paint. They must physically move around the paintings to really understand the artist’s intent. The idea of connecting the viewer to the painting seems to be the most crucial element in these new works.

Glow (In the Dark), acrylic, canvas, polyurethane foam, and insulation board on LusterBoard,
35 x 31 x 2 inches | 90 x 70 x 5 cm, 2021. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart

This concept uses the notion from sculpture, and also Frank … Click here to read more

Sweet Song of Harlem

By Carley Townsend and Beatrice Antonie Martino

Finnish photographer Jaakko Heikkilä doesn’t travel – he stays. Sometimes, he lingers long enough that you’ll fall asleep to the low hypnotic hum of the camera. At least, that’s what happened when Heikkilä photographed Jill, normally lively and hyperactive, suddenly still, quiet, untroubled. With a panoramic camera in hand, each shot takes a full minute, if not more, to develop, imposing a necessary stillness on each moment – a collection of fleeting eternities. Coaxed by a rhythmic repetition of “Lie down” – Click – “Rest your eyes” – buzz – “be still”– silence, Jill turns posing into repose. Heikkilä elicits a sense of magic as focus dances from detail to detail. Time stops, and the stillness deepens the relationship between viewer and subject. 

Jill in Her Living Room, 2003

I have been sitting a lot in kitchens with people, when nothing happens. Total silence. I like to meet people in that silence. It is more intensive, more intimate. I can come closer when nothing else is happening around. That sense of silence, that sense of slowness, it is the same as the photograph. The panoramic lens is rolling like that, silent, slowly. One image taking one minute.

We live in a world where everything is always moving, moving, moving. Everyone is racing to be better than the next. In a society where life is all about motion and distraction, silence and emptiness are revolutionary, radical acts. What does it mean to simply be

Heikkilä has mastered the act of radical stillness, connecting to the inherent beauty, integrity, and inner magic of the other – sitting opposite his camera lens. The subjects of Heikkilä’s photographs live whole and multifaceted lives with or without us – we are simply invited to linger … Click here to read more