JAPAN: ART BRUT
June 18 – August 14, 2015
Cavin-Morris Gallery has been involved in showing Non-Mainstream art from Japan as part of its programs for close to eight years but it was not until we came across the work of the important visionary M'onma that the breadth of the work and the scope of future discoveries from Japan and all across Asia fell into place for us.
Japan is a country now first realizing it has this rich vein of artwork running through it with all the variety and nuances found in Western Art Brut. It also very much speaks the language of Japanese culture. Whether the artist spent his or her time walking the mountains and sleeping in Shinto Temples as M'onma did, or went to a facility that supplied materials and a shelter in which to create, the work has never lost its homeground.
We organized this by no means encyclopedic exhibition from our own archives as a precursor to a more definitive and wider ranging exhibition at a later date. Featuring first the dream archaeology of M'onma we branched out to include the power and beauty of language as image and image as language. M'onma actually often hides calligraphy in his work but it often only has a visual reference without a specific meaning. In fact, this is part of the visual fascination of this exhibition in its showcasing the many facets of how an expanded sense of calligraphy can communicate. Each of these ten artists: Akinori Yoshida, Eiichi Shibata, Hiroe Kittaka, Hirotaka Moriya, M'onma, Tae Takubo, Terao Katsuhiro, Yukio Miyashita and Yuich Saito talk to us in a universal tongue that maintains its indigenous integrity and yet draws us in essentially and completely.