Art news from my neighborhood

At the Palo Alto outpost of the Pace Gallery (229 Hamilton Ave., about two blocks from my house), this remarkable construction by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, in his “Trans-Figure” exhibition there (1/18-2/25):

One of Nawa’s many Pix-Cell, PixCell, or Pixel figures, in this case a taxidermy deer covered with large glass beads.

From the gallery’s announcement of the exhibition:

Pace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculptures and paintings by Kohei Nawa, marking his first solo exhibition in the United States and his second with the gallery. The exhibition features new physical pixelated sculptures (“PixCell”s) made out of toys, taxidermied animals, musical instruments and other everyday objects, new works in his Direction and Ether series that visualize the effects of gravity, and new works in his Villus series that cover an object’s contours and textures with “villi.”

And on Nawa:

Kohei Nawa (b. 1975, Osaka) lives and works in Kyoto, Japan. He received a Ph.D. in Fine Art Sculpture from the Kyoto City University of Arts (2003). Notable solo exhibitions include: “L_B_S” at Ginza Maison Hermes, Tokyo, 2009; “Synthesis” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2011; and “SCULPTURE GARDEN” at Kirishima Open-air Art Museum, Kagoshima, 2013. … Nawa is currently an Associate Professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

And on the gallery, from Wikipedia:

The Pace Gallery is an American contemporary and modern art gallery. It was founded in Boston by Arne Glimcher in 1960.

The gallery moved to Manhattan in 1963 and from 1993 to 2010 operated jointly with Wildenstein & Co., a gallery specializing in old master painting, as PaceWildenstein.

The gallery operates three spaces in New York City, and others in California, in China, in London and in Paris.

PaceWildenstein opened its gallery in the Factory 798 District of Beijing, China, in 2008; it was the first major Manhattan art gallery to open in the city. Artists such as Zhang Xiaogang and Zhang Huan have exhibited in both the Beijing and New York galleries. From 1995 to 1999, PaceWildenstein had a gallery in Los Angeles. In April 2014, Pace used the former Tesla Motors building in Menlo Park, California as a temporary exhibition space; later in the year, Pace London did the same in Chesa Büsin, a house in Zuoz, Switzerland. Pace opened a permanent gallery in downtown Palo Alto in 2016.

At the moment, the gallery operates in three locations in NYC, plus London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Palo Alto, Seoul, and Geneva. Galleries sited where there are immense concentrations of wealth that might be invested in art.

The Palo Alto gallery provides small bits of notable art, visible from the street, but otherwise is socially an almost entirely dead space; hardly anyone ventures inside. It’s a place meant for the fabulously rich. Like the building around the corner on Ramona St., once the London Tea Room and then the restaurant Left at Albuquerque, now a real estate showroom for astronomically priced houses in Silicon Valley, frequented only by an occasional agent meeting with a prospective client. Handsomely designed spaces, but socially dead.

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