Leiko Ikemura

Kiss the Earth

December 26th –
January 29th, 2017
Gstaad
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Stehende,1996
    Terracotta
    61 x 33 x 33 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Tokaido,2014
    Tempera on canvas
    190 x 290 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Yellow Horizon,2016
    Tempera on canvas
    80 x 80 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Weißer rock mit blauem Miko auf dem Arm,1996
    Terracotta
    69 x 36 x 37 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Liegende in gelbem Kleid,2008
    Painted bronze
    34 x 112 x 37 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Motherscape,2011
    Oil on canvas
    90 x 180 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Sleeping figure in red,1997-2012
    Painted bronze
    26 x 103 x 33 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Face-Scape,2013
    Terracotta
    22 x 42 x 26 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Fu,2012
    Oil on canvas
    130 x 180 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Genesis,2014
    Tempera on canvas
    190 x 290 cm
  • Leiko Ikemura
    Hiro,2013
    Tempera on canvas
    60 x 90 cm

Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present Kiss the Earth, a solo exhibition by Swiss-Japanese artist Leiko Ikemura. Ikemura first came to prominence as one of the Neue Wilde group in the 1980s; her intensely expressive approach to art-making flaunts not only the diasporic languages of painting itself, but its transformative potentials. Themes of hybridity, cross-culturalism, sexuality, and psychological flux run throughout her works, which, in Kiss the Earth, span painting and sculpture.

Making is at the very heart of Ikemura’s practice; she describes her work as neither abstraction nor figuration, but rather “artistic motifs” that are given agency through their process of becoming. Ikemura shifts between media with rarefied fluidity, treating both ceramic and painting as intensely physical and spontaneous conduits that communicate action or feeling more than image. Raw materiality and the sense of ‘unfinishedness’ convey a pure energy, creating instances of creative “transmission” that occur between the visual and the haptic, artist and viewer.

In Kiss the Earth, Ikemura’s canvases draw reference equally from European romanticism and traditional Japanese painting and calligraphy; exotic landscapes emerge from tempera-like washes, psychological expanses floating in impossible space, organically defined by areas of intensified hue and deliberated brushwork, details of figures and faces flirting in and out of focus. The accompanying sculptures in terracotta or bronze-cast populate the exhibition with fragmented figures, their morphed husks, earthy, malleable, and feminine, suggest fleeting moments of imagination and longing made concrete as timeless artefacts.

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Leiko Ikemura’s work is featured in many prominent public collections globally, including: Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK), Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Bonner Kunstverein; Berlinische Galerie; Skulpturenpark Köln; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT), Kunstmuseum Basel; Kunstmuseum Bern; Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein ; European Ceramic Work Centre, Netherlands; Kunstmuseum St.Gallen; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), USA. Her recent solo museum exhibitions include: “Poetics of Form” Nevada Museum of Art, USA; “All About Girls and Tigers” Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne; “Last und Lust”, Neues Museum, Nuremberg; “PIOON” Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, Japan; “i-migration” Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe; “Korekara oder Die Heiterkeit des fragilen Seins” Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin & Museen Dahlem, Berlin; “Transfiguration” The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo & Mie Prefecturial Art Museum, Japan. Ikemura’s recent awards include: the Cologne Prize Art Award 2014; JaDe-Prize of the JaDe-Foundation 2013.

Patricia Ellis

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