Tomoo Gokita Joins Blum & Poe

August 13, 2018

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the representation of Tokyo-based artist Tomoo Gokita. His work will be the subject of an exhibition at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery in spring 2018, and a solo exhibition at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles is scheduled for fall 2018.  

Gokita began his career as a graphic designer, with an influential reputation in the fashion and music industries, well known for his series of thick art books in newsprint. In 2005 the artist shifted his focus to painting and draftsmanship, cultivating a repertoire of portraiture in gradations of gray, black, and white. With gouache and acrylic Gokita employs his distinctive greyscale, depicting subjects appropriated from Western popular culture and marginal counterculture. The artist sources found imagery from materials ranging from record sleeves, '70s Playboy magazines, wrestling posters, vintage postcards, classic film stills, to contemporary Japanese comics (manga) and graphic novels (gekiga). A fantastical neo-surrealism comingles archetypes -- geishas and figures from pulp fiction detective novels coexist within eerie film noir dreamscapes; faces muddied, bodies distorted.  

As critic Roberta Smith put it: "Mr. Gokita's vocabulary barrels across illustration, pornography, abstraction, children's drawing, calligraphy and sign-painting, with a perfect control, velvety surfaces and tonal range that makes black-and-white feel like living color."  

Tomoo Gokita (b. 1969) lives and works in Tokyo. In 2014 Gokita was the subject of the large-scale solo exhibition, Tomoo Gokita: The Great Circus at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan. His work has also been included in such thematic shows as Wonderful My Art, Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, Japan (2013); The Unseen Relationship: Form and Abstraction, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Sakura (2012); Gateway: Japan, Torrance Art Museum, CA (2011); VOCA 2009: The Vision of Contemporary Art, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2009); New York Minute, Macro Future Museum, Rome (2009); and Collected Visions, Pera Museum, Istanbul (2009).

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