104GALERIE is holding 104 Introduces, a group show featuring three artists – Radu Comșa, Justin Mortimer, and Vitaly Pushnitsky – from October 2nd (Sat) to 31st (Sat) 2021. It is the very first opportunity for these active international artists to be introduced in Japan.
Radu Comsa was born in 1975 in Sibui, Romania, and works in Cluj-Napoca in the same country. Comsa’s theory of ‘transcription’ (from one material to another, one form to another, one concept to another) is born out of excavation, summary, and reference. His designs, reflecting this individual logical theory, are presented in various types of work, such as painting, block printing, sculpture, and installation. His graphical art objects transform the elements that influenced him, including modernism, architecture, concrete poetry* and atonal music, into visual form with new concepts. They also suggest the deep knowledge of art, culture, and language that he has accumulated as a visual artist.
The new pieces exhibited in this show are semi-three dimensional works developed from his 2020 exhibition in the National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Reductionist debate in 4 colours.
*Concrete poetry: a type of poetry that eradicates the meanings of words, instead forming expression through spatial placement of letters and characters.
Comsa’s major exhibitions include Reductionist debate in 4 colours (2020, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, Romania), A few grams of Red, Yellow, Blue (2014, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland), Hotspot Cluj – New Romanian Art (2013, Arken Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark), Estate (2012, Marianne Boesky, New York, USA) and many others.
Justin Mortimer was born in Cosford, UK in 1970, and is based in London today. In this exhibition we will introduce four pieces, taken from the three series: Hoax (shown in The Armory Show 2018 in New York) and Breed and Taxa (which were developed afterwards). Hoax is a series of vanitas works depicting withered flowers, a meditation on mortality. At the same time, the depiction of these flowers against a background of fluid abstraction addresses the relationship between realism and abstraction in painting. Mortimer’s later series Breed utilizes spray painting. These large-scale pieces, sometimes over 2m in size, depict flowers in oil, much larger than they are in reality. The spray painting, spreading as if it penetrates the surface of the work, creates a visual dissonance.
Mortimer has received several prestigious awards, such as the EAST Award (2004), the NatWest Art Prize (1996), and the BP National Portrait Award (1991). His major exhibitions include Tomorrow (2020, Space K, Korea), Nightfall (2012, MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen, Hungary), and Häftling (2011, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles).
Vitaly Pushnitsky was born in 1967 in Leningrad, during the time of the USSR. After graduating from the Graphics Department of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1994, he has worked out of St. Petersburg. Some of the works that he has created suggest expressions of socialist realism and today’s postsocialism, while others pay tribute to old masters such as Velasquez, Turner and Magritte. He works in various forms: not only in painting, but also in drawing, sculpture, and installation. In this exhibition we will show paintings from 2020-2021 that have yet to be shown in public. The theme that he has been working on recently explores the gap between how we recognize and theorize the world through the body, and how we must grasp the world as an abstract concept, like time and space, when we have lost it. He is also interested in the perception of painting through color rather than structure as a part of his artistic expression. These ideas are proposed through the works in his Gap series.
Pushnitsky contributed to the Pavilion of the Republic of Mauritius at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015, Venice, Italy), Another Home, Parallel program Manifesta 10 (2014, St Petersburg, Russia), and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005 and 2007, Moscow, Russia).
His major exhibitions include TRIBUTE (2018, Novy Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia), Mechanisms of Time (2012, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia), The Iron Century (2006, The State Hermitage Museum, The National Centre for Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, Russia), and Introspection (2002, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia).
His work has been acquired by the collections of The State Russian Museum, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, and many other public and private institutions.