East of Eden

Keisuke Tada 

Nov 21 (Wed.) - Dec 22 (Sat.), 2018

MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY is proud to present East of Eden, a solo exhibition of works by Keisuke Tada opening on November 21, 2018. The show exhibits new works from two series the artist is working on simultaneously—Painting of Incomplete Remains and trace/wood.

In the Painting of Incomplete Remains series started in 2016, Tada produces still life paintings with symbolic motifs, such as fruit, flowers, and statues of Christ, as well as landscapes of virtual worlds, and then ages the surfaces so that they are cracked and flaking in places. Possessing the look of classical European paintings, these works feel as if they were painted hundreds of years ago, ageing gradually over time. The motifs that are depicted—objects that exist today and have no particular meaning—are treated as simple, visual icons. The fabricated sense of time in conjunction with classical painting techniques brings out the captivating appeal of this series of works.

The artist began his trace/wood series in 2015, and it is still evolving today. The works in this series appear to be assemblages of different materials, with glass and metal fragments arranged randomly on what at first glance looks like a support surface constructed from planks of wood joined together. Paint of a variety of colors in the intervening spaces seems to link the fragments. However, these works are in fact created using only the materials that go into making a painting, such as modeling paste and acrylic paint, preserving their pedigree as pure paintings.

Each of these works by Keisuke Tada conveys the clear message that you should doubt the identity of what you see. In addition, these new pieces hold fresh surprises, with more refined devices employed by the artist to meddle with the viewer’s visual information, perception, and mechanics of conceptualization.