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Naked Composition

cafe 104.5 (Ochanomizu, Tokyo)

TANA Gallery Bookshelf is pleased to present Naked Composition, a solo exhibition by Japanese painter CBA, at cafe 104.5 in Ochanomizu, Tokyo. Featuring four large scale paintings and new experimentation with a sewing machine, the exhibition introduces the artist's exploration through aesthetics intrinsic to color, line, and composition.

Composed primarily of plain colors and handdrawn lines, CBA's work incorporates these elements into expressive painterly strokes to create abstract imagery with abundant negative space. Despite its resemblance to early abstract expressionism as well as to later action painting, CBA's work subtly evades the ethos of all-over painting that tacitly accepts the given frame to identify its space. Instead of extending the space of painting beneath or beyond the defining surface (as in Supports/Surfaces or minimal and post-minimal process art), CBA rather modestly returns to abstract languages intrinsic to the realm of image and exlores primary elements such as color and line, and, above all, composition as the agent that reconciliates individual elements into an organic whole before they reach an entropic end all-over canvas. Thus maintaining rich negative spaces between respectively expressive elements based on carefully prepared composition, the artist's de-entropic operation resists the simple arithmetic of adding up layered constituents, and this rather subtractive accumulation sculpts out a unique space of painting that defines itself. Neither bound to formalist faith in literal entity nor trapped in old-fashined illusionism or the paradoxically representational modernist aethetics of the unrepresentable or nihilistic post-modern semiotics, CBA exemplifies still unexhausted possibilities of painting in its basics.

The exhibition consists of two series from CBA's new works. On the main wall is a panorama of four large scale paintings, each with a different background tone, and all marked with graffiti/calligraphy-like absract lines running over and interconnecting the canvases. On other walls are experimental pieces that translated the process of abstract composition into material scratch with a sewing machine.


Line Fragment
Anne Leigniel

Mon-Fri 3-8pm
Closed on Sat/Sun

TANA Gallery Bookshelf is pleased to present Line Fragment, a solo exhibition by London-based French artist Anne Leigniel. Travelling around Europe and Asia, with Japan being one of her frequent destinations, Leigniel has developed the bodies of fragile and often ephemeral works in different forms and materials. Among her diverse oeuvre, Leigniel continues experimentations on line through multiple series of monochrome or subtly colored minimalistic line drawing, which easily allude to Eastern calligraphy including Japanese sho but hardly belong to any particular tradition.

Physically fragmented yet strongly coherent as a perceived image at a time, the nebula of lines in Leigniel's drawing induces a unique aesthetic experience where the visible and the invisible interplay coequally to carry a still formless impression. Like a constellation composed of discrete stars, individual strokes come together into a continuous flow with its invisible in-between spaces activated as though they existed alike. It is little known that post-war modern and avant-garde calligraphy in Japan critically explored the dichotomy and amalgam of representation (as moji [character]) and painterly abstraction (as hi-moji [non-character] or boku-sho [sumi-ink impression]), just as Western formalism painting did albeit differently with following spectacular conceptual progressions that have become art historical cannons. However, probing still unexplored ambiguous realms between presence and absence, Leigniel's subdued concentration on line itself and its intangible effects on negative space reminds us of the now almost forgotten history of avant-garde sho and sheds new light on its rich conceptual legacies such as shinsen [spirit line] or hitsui [mind of stroke] coined by Nankoku Hidai, the father of avant-garde calligraphy and ink abstraction.

In fragmental presentation, the exhibit offers an extraction of imaginary continuation that would extend before and after the very visible part of it. Through this allusion to the residual, Leigniel furthers the concept of ma [negative space] from inward to outward, i.e., from the physical space between definite objects to what dwells only ephemerally in the indefinite stream of mind.


Anne Leigniel
Lightness and ephemeral are recurring themes in her work and the line; weather physical or abstract wandering through her work link the difference bodies of work. Using simple elements in different medium and with a minimal spirit, the artist creates a poetic dimension allowing breathing spaces and silent gaps, inviting the viewer into a contemplative meditation.


Related Event

Anne Leigniel participates in the exhibition "parallèles // obliques" and performs during reception party.
Please visit the link below for more detail.


parallèles // obliques
Thiago Antonio
Guillaume Barborini
Flavie L.T
Won Jy
Alexandre Kato
Takashi Nakajima
Shotaro Yoshino

at Sumiyoshicho Arai Building (Kannai, Yokohama)

TANA Gallery Bookshelf
Tokyo | Kanda
Chiyoda, Kanda Jinbocho, 2 Chome-20, Daini Fuji Building 3F