Cirrus Gallery & Cirrus Editions, Ltd. is pleased to announce Self-Portraits. Self-Portraits is a continuation in our study of Figuration, featuring works by Japanese artists Kyoko Asano and Marc Katano. The exhibition is presented in an effort to extend conversations brought up by Asian Heritage month. Asano and Katano are essential contributors to Cirrus’s history in Los Angeles, with exhibitions and prints released in the 1980s and 1990s.
At first glance, the works of Asano and Katano fall into oppositional genres; Asano illustrates landscapes while Katano traces the movement of the human body through abstract forms. Yet, the works of both artists embody similar articulations of time. Asano’s fantastical depictions of oceans and beaches are indicative of movement. She captures the sensation of liquidity as a wave circles from ocean through rock, or the levity of a bird suspended mid-flight. These depictions of an imagined natural world are accompanied by traces of human activity. Footprints and debris litter the landscape, forming an additional layer of temporality that is both disruptive and symphonic to the landscape they inhabit.
This form of temporal suspension is similarly articulated through the abstract compositions of Katano. Katano describes that, while the works may feel “organic,” they are not meant to emulate “nature”. Katano’s monoprints act as a form of archival, memorializing his own physicality as he paints. The works articulate a sense of movement and ephemerality that also manage to encapsulate time.
The works of both artists function as a form of self-portraiture. Katano captures his own gestures and physicality through the practice of mark-making, Similarly, Asano describes that, “Perhaps my work is a self-portrait, with the beach full of life’s remnants, scars, footprints, and the constant awareness that one day I shall die – to return to the sea. But it is good. For the self belongs to everyone”.
Both Katano and Asano reconcile their own impermanence through the act of creation. Over 40 years later, their temporally suspended compositions continue to percolate with vitality and life.