Hiroe Komai | The Style

Events: Exhibition | published on 26 April, 2013
Auhtor(s): Hiroe Komai
Event Date: 18 April, 2013 - 26 May, 2013
Venue: C&C Gallery, 18 London Road, Forest Hill, London, United Kingdom
Curator/Organizer: Juan Bolivar

The Style: New works by Hiroe Komai is the third exhibition curated by Juan Bolivar at C&C Gallery presenting debut solo exhibitions by unrepresented London based artists.

The object of nature is man, the object of man is style (Theo Van Doesburg)

Meaning literally ‘the style’, De Stijl emerged in the Netherlands in 1917 to become a seminal movement in art and architecture. The term Neo-Plasticism was first coined by Piet Mondrian in a series of 12 essays written between 1917 and 1918 titled De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst(Neo-Plasticism in Painting). In these essays Mondrian outlined the ideas surrounding this new movement and they would be published in a journal founded by Theo Van Doesburg known also as De Stijl.

In The Style: New works by Hiroe Komai, we are presented with a new body of work by the Japanese born, London based artist which examines our relationship to this movement and the way its principles have been assimilated into our present day cultural, social and artistic fabric.

First developed in response to Cubism and as a reaction against the Romantic movement, De Stijl – sometimes knows as Neo-Plasticism – aimed to reflect a utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. In this exhibition Komai’s work highlights De Stjil’s desire for standardisation in the contemporary machine age, by presenting life size casts of commonly found objects in the artist’s studio, ‘styled’ with the familiar white, black, red, yellow and blue colour aesthetic of De Stijl.

Cast in bronze in a variety of finishes from polished to patinated to untreated bronze, these objects are transformed from utilitarian, objective mementos to objects of luxury and desire.
In doing so, Komai subverts the hierarchies in interpretation behind this movement by reminding us how its assimilation has filtered into our every day appreciation in fashion, graphic and interior design; a stylist or style currently having a closer association with these latter aspects.

Titling these works simply as ‘Objects’, Komai’s decision to implement a matter of fact approach in their description, could be seen as an uber-conceptual ‘end game’ strategy reminiscent of artists such as Joseph Kosuth’s ‘Meaning Paintings’ or On Kawara’s, ‘Date Painting’ series. However, in this exhibition Komai places the crafted objects on perspex sheets and display methods reminiscent of high street stores, exploring notions of ‘taste’ and indicating the connection between high and low aesthetics and the reducibility of ideas not only to concepts but to ‘looks and style’.

Founded by the visionary artist Yoshihara Jirō in 1954, the Gutai group was Japan’s most influential avant-garde collective of the post-war era. Its members explored new art forms combining painting and interactive environments in an attempt to realise an international common ground of experimental art. In a similar fashion Komai’s explores how disciplines and theories are intertwined in our post-modern era in an artist’s search for his or her unique style.

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style

Hiroe Komai | The Style

Hiroe Komai: The Style