FIRST LOOK: YOSHITOMO NARA AT PACE GALLERY NYC
Iconic Japanese Pop artist and hardcore punk rocker Yoshitomo Nara took advantage of Frieze week when he opened his first show at the esteemed Pace Gallery in NYC last Friday. A hardcore disciple of the cult of Margaret Keane and the Japanese world of kawaii (all things impossibly”cute”) the real magic of Nara’s deceptively simple giant-eyed kids is in the minimalism with which they convey their deeper emotions of anger, annoyance, melancholy, and defiance. This new collection of work showcases the 53-year-old artist at the peak of his form with a series of paintings in contrasting “superflat” (to borrow a term) and much more deeply rendered classical styles along with a gorgeous array of mostly large-scale rough-hewn bronze sculptures that bear the obvious marks of their maker’s hand (in stark contrast to his usual ultra-slick fiberglass sculptures). In all, it’s a true show of subtle force by the artist forever lurking in the shadow of Japan’s Warhol (aka: Takashi Murakami), but whose work often says twice as much with less than half the effort.
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