Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, Tokyo, Japan) has defined what it means to be a multi-disciplined contemporary artist, blurring the lines between photography, painting, installation, and most recently, architecture. His iconic photographs have bridged Eastern and Western ideologies, tracing the origins of time and societal progress along the way. Preserving and picturing memory and time is a central theme of Sugimoto’s photography, including the ongoing series Dioramas (1976– ), Theaters (1978– ), and Seascapes (1980– ). His work is held in numerous public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The National Gallery, London; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Smithsonian Institute of Art, Washington, D.C., and Tate, London, among others.
510 West 25th Street, New York
May 9 – June 28, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 8, 6 – 8 PM
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to present Hiroshi Sugimoto: Still Life, an exhibition of seventeen large-format photographs from the artist’s ongoing Diorama series that date from 1976 to 2012. The exhibition will be on view at 510 West 25th Street from May 9 to June 28, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 8 from 6 to 8 PM. A fully illustrated catalogue, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Dioramas, will accompany the exhibition.
Essential to Sugimoto’s work is the concept of mastery and using available media to create images that resonate long after a viewing. His images are formally composed and rigorously printed, and evidence of the inevitable distortions that accompany the processes of seeing and interpretation.
Sugimoto’s surreal black-and-white photographic renderings of tableaux found in natural history museums play both on and with perceptions of time, space, and reality. Using a large format camera, Sugimoto brings a realistic clarity and exceptional tonality to staged recreations of nature that show no evidence of humankind. While the images appear to be a record of nature, they are artificially constructed representations.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Still Life includes Polar Bear (1976), his first photograph from the Diorama series, exhibited along with later works from the 1980s, 1990s, and, most recently 2012. Where many of the earlier silver gelatin prints present animals, a number of the 2012 photographs including Mixed Deciduous Forest and Olympic Rain Forest focus on natural landscapes. He has likened the record created by photography to a process of fossilization – the evidence of a moment suspended in time.
Hiroshi Sugimoto (born Tokyo, 1948) studied at St. Paul’s University, Tokyo (1970) and the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles (1974). He has lived and worked in New York City since 1974.
A conceptual artist who works in many media, Sugimoto was influenced by Minimalism and Conceptual Art and has a lifelong connection to the work and philosophy of Marcel Duchamp. Central to Sugimoto’s work with a camera is the idea that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. This theme provides the defining principle for many of his ongoing series, including Dioramas (1976– ), Theaters (1978– ), and Seascapes (1980– ). He places extraordinary value on the technical aspects of making art. In his photography, Sugimoto prints his work with meticulous attention and a keen understanding of the nuances of silver-print making and its potential for tonal richness in his seemingly infinite palette of blacks, whites, and grays.
Recently Sugimoto has led the direction of Ningyo Joruri Bunraku’s (Japanese puppet theatre) production of “Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki”, which was performed in Madrid, Rome, and Paris in fall 2013 and again in Tokyo and Osaka in March 2014. This April, Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris presented Aujourd’hui, le mond est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), juxtaposing the artist’s diverse collection of objects with his photography, and is on view through September 9. In 2008, he founded New Material Research Laboratory, an architectural design office which was commissioned to design the Izu Photo Museum in Shizuoka prefecture. On June 6, Sugimoto will unveil “Glass Tea House Mondrian” his first architectural project in Venice designed for Le Stanze del Vetro on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Recent one-artist exhibitions include Hiroshi Sugimoto: Past Tense, The Getty Center, Los Angeles (2014); Hiroshi Sugimoto, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2013-2014); Hiroshi Sugimoto: Revolution, Brandhorst Museum, Munich (2012-2013 and traveled to Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie, Espace Van Gogh, Arles, France); Hiroshi Sugimoto: From Naked to Clothed, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2012).
In 2005, the Japan Society, New York, and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C., organized a U.S. and Canadian tour of Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History, an exhibition Sugimoto curated that juxtaposed his own personal collection of antiquities with his photographic work. In 2008, The Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Museum of Art in Japan presented an expanded version of History of History. Also in 2005 The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, jointly organized a Japan / U.S. retrospective tour. A European version of the retrospective was organized by K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in 2007; subsequent venues included the Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. In 2010 Hatje Cantz released a newly expanded edition of the artist’s self-titled retrospective catalogue featuring an essay by Pia Müller-Tamm and including two new bodies of work.
Sugimoto has had solo exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, among others. He was the subject of a year-long exhibition at Japan’s Marugame Museum, as well as a major exhibition of new work at the National Gallery of Scotland in 2011.
Sugimoto has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and he is the recipient of honorary doctorates and awards including the 21st Praemium Imperiale in 2009, Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon by Japanese Government in 2010, the Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (The Order of Arts and Letters) by French Government in 2013.
His work is represented in numerous public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery, London; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Smithsonian Institute of Art, Washington, D.C., and Tate, London.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Still Life is the artist’s fifth exhibition at Pace since he joined the gallery in 2010.
On Tuesday, May 13, the Isamu Noguchi Award for Kindred Spirits in Innovation, Global Consciousness and Japanese/American Exchange was presented to Hiroshi Sugimoto at The Noguchi Museum’s Annual Spring Benefit. Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa, who serves as permanent representative of Japan to the United Nations, presented the award to Mr. Sugimoto and to architect Lord Norman Foster. Pace Gallery extends their warmest congratulations to Mr. Sugimoto on this milestone achievement. Hiroshi S
2014. Pace Gallery in association with Damiani srl. Hardcover
120 pages: 55 color illustrations; 11 ¼ x 10 ¼ inches