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image image Phantom Erections: Buildings That Never Were
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Christopher Stephens
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The Greek deity Silenus contended that the best anyone could hope for was to never be born. The same might be said of art -- the works that fail to see the light of day sometimes turn out to be the most gripping. This is the underlying theme of Impossible Architecture, a traveling exhibition of unrealized building projects by 40 or so artists and architects on view at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art through 8 December. While some of the plans proved to be too fanciful, others were technically or financially unfeasible, and still others fell victim to social conditions. more...

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image image The Poly-Creatures of Izumi Kato: Paintings and Sculptures at Two Hara Museums
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Susan Rogers Chikuba
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At once vegetal, animal, mineral, and extraterrestrial, the poly-creatures of Shimane-born painter and sculptor Izumi Kato are out in force this fall and winter. Meet them through 13 January 2020 in Izumi Kato -- Like a Rolling Snowball, concurrent solo shows hosted by the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward and Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture. The former showcases Kato's recent works, notably those made of stone and fabric, while the latter is a full retrospective uniting the artist's earliest paintings with his wood sculptures, painted rock assemblages, and multimedia figures fashioned of stone, fabric, wood, leather, and soft vinyl. more...

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image image Asphalt Impressionism: Naoki Tomita at the Maho Kubota Gallery
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Alan Gleason
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When Naoki Tomita held his first solo exhibition four years ago, he seemed to have sprung out of nowhere fully formed, with a mature, instantly recognizable style. Viewing the short, thick, slab-like strokes with which he paints his oils, it's impossible not to think of Van Gogh. Tomita also shares with the post-Impressionist master some interesting polarities in subject matter: he is capable of painting riveting portraits, but his landscapes are virtually devoid of human figures. Those that do appear in Tomita's scenes are barely distinguishable, cursory sketches that blend into the background. Yet he seems genuinely interested in people, as evinced by No Job, his landmark series of sympathetic portraits of young unemployed Japanese. more...

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Recent Articles
FOCUS
Phantom Erections: Buildings That Never Were
Christopher Stephens
1 November 2019
FOCUS
The Poly-Creatures of Izumi Kato: Paintings and Sculptures at Two Hara Museums
Susan Rogers Chikuba
1 November 2019
HERE/THERE
Asphalt Impressionism: Naoki Tomita at the Maho Kubota Gallery
Alan Gleason
1 November 2019
PICKS
Legendary Chair Craftsman, Shigeki Miyamoto
1 November 2019
FOCUS
After the Deluge: The Show Goes On at Aichi Triennale 2019
Colin Smith
1 October 2019
FOCUS
A View on Structure: Highlighting the Critical Role of Structural Engineers in Japan's Iconic Buildings
James Lambiasi
1 October 2019
HERE/THERE
String Theory: Chiharu Shiota at the Mori Art Museum
Alan Gleason
1 October 2019
PICKS
Insects: Models for Design
1 October 2019
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