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Tadashi Kawamata Para-site Project

25 Aug - 28 Oct 2018
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As part of the Pushkin Museum XXI initiative, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts presents Russia’s first site-specific installation of contemporary Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. Kawamata will create nest-shaped installations in the permanent exposition areas and at the director’s office, using materials found during deconstruction of old buildings in the Museum quarter. These installations will be created exclusively for the Pushkin State Museum. 

    • Tadashi Kawamata is a Japanese artist who has gained world renown as a master of spatial compositions, or installations. He frequently utilizes organic materials or old used goods to create his art works that naturally merge into the city landscape. With his art, he explores connections between past and present, between Western and Eastern cultures. His art works also bring up issues of urbanism, unveiling the complex social aspects and versatility of interpersonal relations in the modern community. The installation on Place Vendôme in Paris (2013) is one of his most famous art projects. Kawamata built wooden “houses” and installed them on the top of the 44-meter Vendôme Column and on the rooftops of neighboring buildings dating back to the 19th century. He called this project “Tree Hut.” Earlier, in 2008, he implemented a similar project in Madison Square Park, New York, where he placed his tree huts on the park trees. In 2012, at the Abu Dhabi Biennale, Kawamata stacked old chairs, armchairs, and benches into the open-top dome-shaped installation “Chairs for Abu Dhabi.” In 2013, he also made a large installation of chairs and benches near Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. This project, shaped like a huge tower, was called “Garden Tower.”
    • In Moscow the famous artist will create a site-specific installation “Para-site Project,” consisting of multiple objects — some will be installed at the director’s office, and others will be placed in the halls where the permanent exposition is housed. Large and small nests made of construction debris that remained after deconstruction of old buildings in the Museum quarter will be designed to illustrate the artist’s concept of continuity, the inextricable connection between past, present, and future. Kawamata often emphasizes that his art works have no beginning and no end because they imitate natural processes rather than natural objects. In part, the Moscow installation is about the fact that we can witness the transformation of old museum chairs, useless floor planks, and packaging stored at the former Prince Golitsyn estate into modern art.
    • Alexandra Danilova, exhibition curator: “Tadashi Kawamata’s artistic credo matches the duality found in the title of the exhibition. His art is multidimensional, multivalent, and organic at the same time. He touches upon complex issues tied to the relations between a human being and the surrounding world. Kawamata uses natural and man-made objects — nests, birdhouses, huts — to design art works that encourage deliberate contemplation of the environment.”
    • Marina Loshak, Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts: “Despite the fact that Mr. Kawamata moved to Western Europe a long time ago, he remains a truly Japanese artist with the finest understanding of harmony and a reverent attitude toward nature and its principles. Kawamata does not like working with modern ‘lifeless’ materials. For him, it is essential that his art becomes a part of the local history. For this purpose, when working on his project at the Pushkin Museum, he collected old planks from the Institute of Philosophy, formerly a part of Prince Golitsyn’s estate, to get a sense of historical Moscow.”
    • Tadashi Kawamata was born in 1953 in Mikasa on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. He graduated from Shimizu Higashi High School (Hokkaido) in 1972. In 1984, he was awarded a Doctoral degree by Tokyo University. Tadashi Kawamata was a professor at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts from 1999 until 2005. He currently teaches at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. He lives and works in Paris and Tokyo.
    • In 1977, Tadashi Kawamata’s first personal exhibition was held in Tokyo. Since that time, his works have become famous in Japan and worldwide. He has taken part in important events, such as the Venice Biennale in 1982, Documenta 8 in 1982, International San Paolo Biennale in 1987, Favela in Houston in 1991, Lyon Biennale in 1993, United Nations 50th Anniversary in Geneva in 1995, 4th Shanghai Biennale in 2002, a special project for the Art Basel Fair in 2007, and the Brussels Triennale in 2015.
    • Tadashi Kawamata’s art works are found in many famous collections worldwide, including the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, Hague Museum, Kassel New Gallery, Canadian Center of Architecture in Montreal, National Gallery of Canada, Deutsche Bank Collection, National Museum of Art in Osaka, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and others.
    • Alexandra Danilova is an art historian, curator, teacher of modern art history, and Deputy Head of the Department of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. At the Pushkin State Museum she curated the following exhibitions: “New York School” (1999), “A German Perspective. German Art from the Deutsche Bank Collection” (2004), “The New World. Three Centuries of American Art” (2007), “Futurism. Radical Revolution. Russia–Italy” (2008), “Mimicry. Wim Delvoye in the Pushkin Museum” (2014), “Alexander Calder. Retrospective View. From the Calder Foundation and other private collections” (2015), “Aleksander Ponomaryov. Vitruvian Man” (2016), “Viktor Pivovarov. Lost Keys” (2016), “Cai Guo-Qiang. October” (2017), “45/68. Facing the Future. European Art in 1945-1968” (2017).
25 Aug - 28 Oct 2018
Italian Courtyard, Halls 8–10, director’s office