Left: Noboru Takayama, Underground Zoo, 1970. Space Totsuka. Courtesy of the artist, Tokyo Publishing House and Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Right: Liza Ryan, Perpendicular, 2017. Pigment print, ink, watercolor pigment and graphite. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran.
Liza Ryan: Antarctica
January 20–March 17, 2018
Opening: January 20, 5–7pm
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm
T +1 310 586 6886
Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and with the gallery by Noboru Takayama. For his exhibition, the artist will construct two monumental sculptures from his signature material, railroad ties. The sculptures will be both indoors and within the galleries outdoor courtyard space.
Noboru Takayama is an artist who creates works that appropriate materials of firm substantiality including old and worn-out railway sleepers, iron, and wax. The single recurrent medium in Takayama’s practice is railroad ties, which he has used since 1968. During his second year of college, Takayama discovered the potential of railroad ties, significant not only as an underground support structure for tunnels, but as “human pillars” similar in size and weight. The artist began producing such work as a tribute to the countless lives lost amidst the establishment of Japan’s railway during the history of its invasion of Asia, in rail operations through coalmine tunnels, and in the nation’s drive towards modernization. They are the requiems for the sacrificial human pillars of Japanese modernization.
The work constructs a space that closely connects the object and memory. Although Takayama is often considered to be an artist belonging to the Mono-ha, his activities attempt to explore a different subject as dealt with in the concerns of the Mono-ha. As opposed to Mono-ha artists whom had presented the space or circumstance in which an ‘object’ exists through the displaying of untreated ‘objects,’ Takayama had created works that focused on a specific material and the relationship between the history and memory that is engraved within it.
Noboru Takayama was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1944. He graduated with a BFA and MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts before continuing to teach at the Miyagi University of Education, Sendai and the Tokyo University of the Arts, where he is a specially appointed Professor today.
In the South Gallery, Kayne Griffin Corcoran will present Antarctica, an ongoing photographic series by Liza Ryan. Her photographs of Antarctica forefront two concerns: environmentalism and photographic essentialism.
When she first encountered Antarctica, Ryan struggled to believe that the land she saw was real. After immersing herself in the landscape both on foot and in a kayak, she began to absorb the reality of the place, but her greatest challenge became how to document the experience. Ryan chose to communicate how Antarctica feels by collaborating with the landscape in this continued body of work. She traces the curves of the glaciers and icebergs with charcoal, ink and graphite both to remember and to emphasize the preternatural architecture. She attempts to match the landscape’s palette with her markings and highlights shapes and colors easy to overlook in photographic documentation. This hybridization has long been part of Ryan’s process of combining her photographic imagery with drawing, painting and collage.
While her trip lasted only a few weeks, Ryan extended her stay in Antarctica indefinitely by becoming deeply immersed in her work in the studio. She has researched the area extensively through reading fiction, nonfiction and critical analyses. Now two years after being in Antarctica, Ryan is still exploring and trying to understand its impact. Antarctica activated a critical recalibration for the artist. Previous work obliquely referenced landscape and included intellectual questioning of environmental exteriors but was not directly concerned with landscape or environmental issues. The undeniable power and aliveness of the South Pole shifted Ryan and left her with a deep reverence and commitment to protecting the environment. Ryan believes it is her responsibility to share the complex, multi-faceted significance of this disappearing and critical continent.
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