Their success stems in part from his surprisingly large vocabulary of terse little doodles
and in part from the range of contrasts he coaxes from the black and white gouache.
It gives the piles a harsh, almost glittery light that catches the eye, communicating something
driven and serious.
Roberta Smith, New York Times
Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition with artist Tomoo Gokita.
Born in Tokyo, Gokita has published and exhibited extensively within Japan as well as participated
in group and solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Berlin.
Tomoo Gokita’s work has had a strong presence within the world of contemporary culture internationally
for a number of years; however, it is only recently that his practice has been recognized within the
contemporary art world. A cult figure, Gokita’s earlier practice consisted primarily of works
executed in an off-hand manner, presented on paper within the context of an exhibition or, more
frequently, within the pages of a magazine for a creative or commercial project.
Gokita’s recent works mark a change; while retaining the tone and palette of pencil-on-paper as well as
his delight in found, marginal subject matter, Gokita’s recent paintings on canvas, executed in the
medium of gouache and gouache-based paints reveal a new interest in materiality. Gokita’s painted
figures exist as illustrated abstractions – this fact often made explicit by their deterioration
into non-representational painted swathes and blobs. As much “about“ the range of possibilities
inherent in varying shades of black and white, and the material flatness and contrastingly sharp
tones resulting from gouache applied to canvas, Gokita’s paintings are graphic re-presentations of
Gokita continues to create works on paper; however, rather than stand-alone works (with the exception
of painted studies), new drawings are presented in a continually growing group which, by the time of their
presentation at Taka Ishii Gallery will number into the hundreds. Contradicting their status as parts amongst
a whole, Gokita’s drawings are each presented within their own frame.