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Arts

Who: Tadaaki Kuwayama and Celia Gerad What: Six Elements or More and New Work, respectively When: Artist reception 5 to 8 p.m. Friday; shows hang through July 10 Where: Tayloe Piggott Gallery Web: TayloePiggottGallerm.com By Katy Niner

STEPPING OUT Jackson Hole News&Guide, Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 9

NYC residents explore infinite, indefinite


tallic paint rich, glossy surfaces that seemed to electrify the color from within. To control the intensity, he bisected the panels with metal strips. Now, he explores color and structure using anodized aluminum and other materials. Kuwayama isolates and repeats geometric elements to form a larger whole. In Six Elements or More, each piece echoes a rhythm groupings of six units or more. With the structure set, he can focus on color, which he achieves through a chemical process that dyes the metal. The luminosity of the color changes as the light, or viewer, moves. Each painting is a presence, a harmonized order of form and color, Michael Klein wrote in the Six Elements or More introduction. Kuwayama exercises the precision and diligence of an architect, Klein wrote. Process predominates, not the what or why. Kuwayamas name has become synonymous with minimalist art. In the past two years, he has been the focus of three major museum exhibitions in Japan. In Timaeus, Plato explores khora, an indescribable space, a concept that resonated with Gerard. Khora seemed to describe the mixedmedia work she was making of spaces specific yet unclassified. By her hand, architectural elements meld with mountain peaks, geometric shapes crumble into ethereal forms. Though drawing informs Gerards new work, she thinks of herself as a sculptor. She sees drawing on the continuum of her sculptural investigations of structure and form. Her evolution as an artist has been marked by several

wo New York-based artists explore frontiers for Jackson. Tadaaki Kuwayama hones iterations on minimalism, while sculptor Celia Gerard draws through her investigations of structure and form. On Friday, Tayloe Piggott Gallery opens, Six Elements or More, an exhibition of Kuwayamas work, in tandem with New Work, the gallerys first solo show for Gerard. Both artists are traveling to Jackson to attend the public artist reception at the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. In the late 1950s, Kuwayama left his native Japan and his background in traditional nihonga painting for New York City, where he set out to create something all his own. Before arriving in the U.S., he had no access to information about American art, save for slivers of coverage about Jackson Pollock. At that time, abstract expressionism dominated the New York art landscape, yet Kuwayama sought a new frontier in the company of his contemporaries Donald Judd and Dan Flavin. I wanted to obliterate all elements of what had come before and to create multiple versions of the same thing, he said recently in an interview with New York Art Beat. His first canvases were monochromatic fields of me-

On Friday, Tayloe Piggott Gallery opens Six Elements or More, a show of works by Tadaaki Kuwayama. This anodized aluminum piece is Untitled, 1999.

material epiphanies. At Colgate University, she created large geometric metal sculptures. After college, she realized, I was making all of this really big, ambitious sculpture, but I didnt feel like I

Celia Gerards first solo show at Piggott also opens Friday. Though drawing informs her new work, Gerard thinks of herself as a sculptor. Harvest, 2011 is mixed media on watercolor paper.

could draw. So she traveled to Italy to rigorously study the figure at the International School of Art, an immersion she continued in New York. A decade on, she went back to get her Master of Fine Arts and shifted course again. I started to realize that I loved what the figure did, but I wasnt in love with the figure as a motif, she said. Breaking away, she did sculptural analysis of the figure, and started working with bas relief to investigate depth. Taking a slab of clay, she would press a triangle into it again and again, moving in and out of the grid. I was interested in using consistent increments of measurement and exploring how far I could go just using one shape, she said. Drawing simultaneously, she found more flexibility working on paper than in clay. She began working on large pieces of paper, using the grid but breaking the grid. At first, she reveled in exploring only black and white. Within the past year, color has seeped into her work, the result of twin inspirations: the light and colors she experienced during summer days on

Long Island, and the palette of Willem de Kooning. She still kept her palette limited, a la early Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca, colors that verged on otherworldly, that did not interfere with her investigation of space. While she still uses a straight-edge and compass, she often draws freehand, using graphite, charcoal, white chalk, sumi-e ink and handmade watercolors. She works her surfaces with an electric sander. This new work seems to be taking on more airs of landscape. Part of the process is striking a balance between the composition but also the recognizable and the unrecognizable, the knowable and the unknowable, she said. Growing up, Gerard spent family vacations in Utah. As an undergrad, she studied in Nepal. She now lives in New York City. The cityscape and the mountainscape are my two kinds of mythical landscapes, she said. She considers each composition a juxtaposition of structure and sky. Sharing her work with Jackson Hole feels wonderful and synchronous, she said.