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Kishio Suga: Pirelli HangarBicocca presents his first European retrospective
30 September, 2016
“Situations” is the first European retrospective dedicated to Kishio Suga (b. 1944 in Morioka, Japan). For the first time in the career of this pivotal figure in contemporary Japanese art, over twenty of his installations, dating from 1969 to the present, are shown together in the Navate space.
Kishio Suga was among the prime movers of Mono-ha, an artistic group born in the late 1960s. He began showing his work at a time of great cultural ferment in Japan and international experimentation, marked by movements like Postminimalism and Land Art in the United States and Arte Povera in Italy. In 1978, Suga was chosen to represent his Country at the Venice Biennale, introducing the West to an artistic language in which the investigation of materials and space is rooted in a deep affinity to nature and the environment.
“Situations” brings together a series of pieces the artist has adapted to the industrial architecture of Pirelli HangarBicocca. Forging an intense relationship with the vast spaces of the Navate, it unfolds along a single path that balances lightness and gravity, linearity and tension, solidity and intangibility. In keeping with his practice, Suga’s works are presented here as temporary projects which exist for the duration of the show, site-specific in both a spatial and temporal sense.
The exhibition highlights the common threads and experimental nature of the artist’s oeuvre, presenting a landscape of organic and industrial elements—iron, zinc, wood, stone, and paraffin—materials which he often finds on site. At Pirelli HangarBicocca, the pieces therefore take on new qualities and characteristics that differ from previous versions.
Top Image: Kishio Suga Law of Multitude (Tabunritsu), 1975/2012 Plastic sheet, stone, concrete 83.8 x 655.3 x 886.5 cm overall Installation view at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, 2012 Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo Photo: Joshua White/JWPictures.com