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Kosei Tanabe

2019.8.30 (Fri.) - 9.7 (Sat.)
11:00 - 19:00(closed on 9.2)

Opening Reception 8.30 (Fri.) 17:30-19:30

Kosei Tanabe Exhibition


"DER7" 2019, 128 x 167cm, acrylic on canvas


"DER5" 2018, 118 x 168cm, acrylic on canvas

MEGUMI OGITA GALLERY B1 2-16-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

We at Megumi Ogita Gallery are proud to introduce Kosei Tanabe and his first solo exhibition.

Kosei Tanabe was born in Matsudo City in 1966 and, in graduating from the Humanities Faculty of Wako University, has chosen to pursue art in v
arious ways.

At high school, he joined the painting club and, -by using insect shells, test tubes, car parts, wood chips and such- made a drawing for an art exam application for PARCO's Japan Object Exhibition, being selected as the youngest candidate. Concurrently, while growing familiar with punk rock and underground subculture, Tanabe began applying paint to his own leather jackets, touring the galleries and bookstores around his school and, during a period when Post Modernism and New Academism were novel, discovered contemporary art.

At university, Tanabe attended the seminars of Masaaki Kusumoto and, subsequently, instituted a foundation with Yoshihiro Kishimoto, Takahide Koike and Tamihito Yoshikawa. Influenced by Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, this period highlights a crucial time and stepping point for him.
During his time as a student, he notes the disgust he felt in the brushstroke habits of himself and others, and in seeking to eradicate all trace of the self, produced neat and clean images i.e. by drawing along the lines of an uneven tin plate.
Post graduation, he established a literary study committee where he would plan study sessions with the neighborhood children and created murals which explored the relationship between the self, society and art.

At 30 years old, the artist is again reunited with Masaaki Kusumoto, and as a result, began producing Nationally based paintings. With the painting cloth (canvas) he receives from Kusumoto, Tanabe began his attempt to create masterpieces in his one room apartment and, in search of a shape which would expand beyond its form, utilizes a method of decalcomania, of folding and transferring the work.
To Tanabe, decalcomania is what he refers to as his "conventional method" and, while Tanabe's decalcomania mirrors the psychologically indicative images from a Rorshach test, his everyday materials consist of ordinary paper for drawing and mud as paint (of which Tanabe calls Event Color). Evoking ideas of blood and flesh, Tanabe's color selection of reds and pale hues of orange obfuscates images of the human body with the folded shape of the painted cloth. In addressing the artist's selection of materials, techniques and colors, one addresses Tanabe's refusal to display the painting as a painting through revealing the innate, ontological conflicts inherent to painting.

In more recent years and after experiences with physical labor, Tanabe began performing "practice" where he would attempt to level the sandbox of a park. In this work, one may notice how the artist's work draws parallels with the sensuality, plasticity, dimensionality (verticality and horizontality) and other qualities akin to the aforementioned decalcomania paintings.
Despite acknowledging the impossibility to a perfect level, so long as these works are produced in the world, Tanabe's decalcomania and performance represent the artist's consistent attempt to address the possibility of a perfect level i.e. by repetitively checking and revising the exact level. Thus, while a first impression may suggest the act to be barren, the act may equally interpret as promising for its in-numerous and unknown possibilities.

For this exhibition we will be presenting 6 of Tanabe's decalcomania works and 1 video piece, "practice"- which displays the act of horizontal leveling on a park sandbox.
Though Tanabe has worked as an artist since high school, he has never had the opportunity to present until now- at 52 years of age and, in a way, this attitude presents an unconscious resistance shared amongst his generation of peers, writers and artists.
This exhibition is a significant opportunity for Tanabe's history to confront art and pave a new starting point and, thus, we hope you find the time to visit his exhibition.

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