Tomoo Gokita

Dates: Apr 1 – 26, 2008

Their success stems in part from his surprisingly large vocabulary of terse little doodles and in part from the range of contrasts he coaxes from the black and white gouache. It gives the piles a harsh, almost glittery light that catches the eye, communicating something driven and serious. Roberta Smith, New York Times

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition with artist Tomoo Gokita. Born in Tokyo, Gokita has published and exhibited extensively within Japan as well as participated in group and solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Berlin.

Tomoo Gokita’s work has had a strong presence within the world of contemporary culture internationally for a number of years; however, it is only recently that his practice has been recognized within the contemporary art world. A cult figure, Gokita’s earlier practice consisted primarily of works executed in an off-hand manner, presented on paper within the context of an exhibition or, more frequently, within the pages of a magazine for a creative or commercial project.

Gokita’s recent works mark a change; while retaining the tone and palette of pencil-on-paper as well as his delight in found, marginal subject matter, Gokita’s recent paintings on canvas, executed in the medium of gouache and gouache-based paints reveal a new interest in materiality. Gokita’s painted figures exist as illustrated abstractions – this fact often made explicit by their deterioration into non-representational painted swathes and blobs. As much “about“ the range of possibilities inherent in varying shades of black and white, and the material flatness and contrastingly sharp tones resulting from gouache applied to canvas, Gokita’s paintings are graphic re-presentations of paintings.

Gokita continues to create works on paper; however, rather than stand-alone works (with the exception of painted studies), new drawings are presented in a continually growing group which, by the time of their presentation at Taka Ishii Gallery will number into the hundreds. Contradicting their status as parts amongst a whole, Gokita’s drawings are each presented within their own frame.