Preview: The Last Cosmology, Kikuji Kawada, L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery on November 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Eight Hours Rotation of the Earth, Polaris, Shiojiri, 1989, Kikuji Kawada

From camera technology and development methodology,  to artistic titans such as Daido Moriyama and Rinko Kawauchi, Japan’s impact on every facet of photography is indisputable. But as is customary and to be expected with a notoriously insular culture, certain artistic joys can become obfuscated, withheld and/or underappreciated for the masses. This is one such case: the ethereal works of Kikuji Kawada.

I was born at the beginning of the Shōwa Era [1926-1989]. There was a great war during my boyhood and then I lived during the period of re-construction and growth and now I slowly approach the evening of life. Through these photographs the cosmology is an illusion of the firmament. At the same time it includes the reality of an era and also the cosmology of a changing heart.                       

– Kikuji Kawada
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs  is pleased to announce its representation of master Japanese photographer Kikuji Kawada(b. 1933) and the first solo exhibition of his work in the United States. Kawada, co-founder of the photographers’ cooperative VIVO with Shomei Tomatsu, Eikoh Hosoe and others, is best known outside Japan for his seminal book and series Chizu (The Map), published in 1965. Part of The Map series was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1974 exhibition, New Japanese Photography, curated by John Szarkowski anan entire room will be devoted to it in the Tate Modern‘s upcoming exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography.

While The Map addressed psychological issues of national concern in the era following Japan’s defeat in the Second World War, Kawada’s series The Last Cosmology (1969-1999), on view at the Gallery, presents personal perceptions that echo evolution on a universal scale. Starting in the late 1960s and throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Kawada raised his eyes beyond the stained ceiling of Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome to the heavens above and the world around and beyond. The dizzying yet cohesive array of subjects, printed in rich intense tones that virtually glow, convey a sense of unease, imbalance, loss and questioning.  Like previous civilizations, we are left to wonder about connections between heavenly dramas and terrestrial circumstances.

With the exhibit only opening this past Tuesday, November 4th, people still have nearly three months to make their way down to Madison Avenue. Officially, The Last Cosmology is scheduled to close on January 25th.

For More Information: L. Parker Stephenson

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