Art Front Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Toshikatsu Endo. Endo was born in Gifu in 1950 and currently lives in Saitama. From 1970’, he has created monumental sculptures using basic elements of nature such as water, wood, soil and fire. He was the Japanese artist to be selected for Venice Biennale (1990), and was exhibited in many other international exhibitions: San Paolo Biennale (1994, Brazil), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (2003, Japan), “Personal Structures: Time-Space-Existence” (2010, Austria).
On view in the 260㎡ gallery space will be a large-scale wood sculptures together with smaller works. Visitors will experience a kind of corporeal sensuality through the overwhelming black color or smell of tar. The materiality of the work itself will function as a universal language to the audience.
Influenced by Mono-ha or minimalist artists in Japan of the seventies, Endo tried to remove superfluous or decorative elements to endow the given form with visual power. As a result, his form became simple, often geometrical. If his ways of making works is consistent since then, myths and desire of community now seem to be predominant concern of the artist. “Sacrifice or Kugi functions to create a void at the center of the collective consciousness. This void activates the imagination of its members, which then works to strengthen the collective identity,” says the artist. He quotes stone ruins with void at the center as is commonly found in many different cultures.
As a process, Endo often finishes his works by burning them. Just like rituals in ancient community, this treatment gives his work unique identity.
The new work in shape of “U”is the work burnt before the opening of the exhibition in the remote area of Tsumari where a huge open-air work of the same artist is exhibited permanentlty.