Dates: Dec 25, 2010 – Jan 29, 2011 (Winter holidays: Dec 30- Jan 6)
Opening reception: Tuesday, Dec 28, 18:00 – 20:00


Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our exhibition of work by Leo Rubinfien. Born in 1953, Rubinfien is an acclaimed American photographer who lives in New York City. He is the author of two critically praised books, A Map of the East and Wounded Cities, from which solo exhibitions have been given at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Seibu Art Forum, Tokyo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington. A one-man show of work from Wounded Cities will appear at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, from August – October, 2011.

Rubinfien became known in the early 1980s as one of the young American photographers working with the new color materials of the period, and his work was featured this year in the Cincinnati Museum of Art’s survey of that period,Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980. However, his interests were always international, and from the beginning of his career, each of his projects has developed as another approach to the phenomenon of globalization. As he states:

I have spent a lot of my life as a photographer exploring the great zone between countries that I sometimes call the “world city.” In Wounded Cities, I wrote,

“It often seemed to me as if I lived in a worldwide city, a vast lattice in which the cities of many countries were nodes, tied to each other with invisible threads — air routes, satellite links, undersea cables, shareholdings, mechanisms of credit, supply chains, crazes, all the obscure, innumerable bonds between individual people. Within that aggregation, it was not much harder to cross the world than to go from one side to another of any great metropolis …”

The world city is the place where you are when you cannot tell exactly where you are — the place where Buenos Aires, Dusseldorf and Hong Kong look more like each other than different. It is the place where Asia, Europe, Africa and America continually re-shape each other, each in its own image, and where people often tell me that they feel a freedom and exhilaration they don’t feel in the parochial, backwater towns of their native countries. And because it is full of their aspirations and longings, it is also a place where beauty and anxiety and sometimes even fear are all mixed up together.

from Rubinfien’s Artist’s Statement for the group exhibition “Not Making it Up,”
Packer Collegiate Institute, New York, 2010

In recent years, Rubinfien has worked in both color and black and white, developing an exquisite technique for varnishing his prints, and giving them the richness and beauty that were once looked for in dye transfer printing. The photographs have an intimacy, a richness and a global sweep that come together in the work of no other contemporary photographer.

This is Rubinfien’s first exhibition at Taka Ishii Gallery. It will present 34 large photographs from many parts of the world, some in color and some in black and white, covering 30 years of Rubinfien’s career (all of the work is being taken from Rubinfien’s book-in-progress In the World City). At the same time as the Taka Ishii Gallery exhibition, a small exhibition of new work from New York from another of Rubinfien’s projects will be held at KURENBOH, Chohouin Buddhist Temple Gallery in Kuramae, Tokyo. Taka Ishii Gallery and KURENBOH are co-publishing The Ardbeg, a 16-page accordion book (with slipcase), with four large photographs and an original story by Rubinfien (in English and Japanese translation). The Ardbeg is being printed in a limited edition of 1000 copies, signed and numbered by the artist. Copies are available from Taka Ishii Gallery and KURENBOH.

Concurrent exhibition:
Leo Rubinfien, The Ardbeg
Dates: December 25, 2010 – February 25, 2011
Location: KURENBOH Chohouin Buddhist Temple Gallery
4-17-14 Kuramae Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0051
Open only Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00~16:00
by appointment only : kurenboh@nifty.com
See more: www.kurenboh.com