Monday, October 16, 2006
Shinro Ohtake has long been an influence, since seeing the book London/Honcon 1980 in the early 80's. Since then I've been fortunate to see his work in book form over the years, mostly through my friend Alfred who lives in Tokyo/Seattle. The top image is from that book, a notebook format combination of drawing and collage presented in a gorgeous box. The next two images are from Atlanta 1945+50 published by and in collaboration with Nexus Press in Atlanta, Georgia, 1996. It is a feat of printing, each book is unique in that the paper is different for each copy, throwaway sheets from printers and billboards and including hand tipped vernacular photographs. The color is vivid and varied and the project is insanely wonderful,,, Ohtake suggests viewing the book under a black light, something I've never done for some unknown reason. I guess I left mine back in the attic decades ago. The next image is from the book America II 1989, and is similar to Atlanta 1945+50 but larger and not so elaborately printed> This book also comes in a box and the cover is die cut. The final image is of a one of a kind Scrapbook (#18) one of many he has evidently made scores of. Why am I going on about Shinro Ohtake? Tomorrow I leave for Tokyo/Japan and will see a major retrospective of his. It took 7 different locations to exhibit his output. The guy is obviously prolific and works in many different media, including very large scale sculpture, installations and paintings. The major show is at Tokyo Contemporary Museum of Art and takes up 4 floors. Apart from that I'll be in Japan for 2 1/2 weeks, and need to start packing.