Akiko Mashima: Confronting Myself
Opening reception: January 5, 2018, 6-9pm
Exhibition installation view
Confronting Myself is the first exhibition of sculpture and drawings with this gallery by Japanese artist Akiko Mashima. Mashima’s Post-Minimalist work is concerned with expressing ontological and existential feelings towards, and in reaction to, two or three-dimensional space. This exhibition will include six wall mounted sculptures and three drawings. Mashima wrote, “I am interested in expressing the three-dimensional feeling (volume, side) through both two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds. This…also involves the concept of existence and reality.”
Made from assembled blocks of raw, formed and painted woods Mashima’s three-dimensional forms hang and tilt, looking as if they are squished together, in motion or about to collapse. This sense of drama heightens our awareness of these forms including both their and our engagement with space. This mindfulness of space, form and materials pushes Mashima’s work beyond formal concerns to address the metaphysical.
The same sense of movement and form is present in her pencil and ink drawings on paper. Although confined by the perimeters of the paper her implications of space, shape, form and movement push beyond the edges of her chosen format, often with only a suggestion of negative space. Mashima’s elegant manipulation of these formal elements suggests a larger metaphysical world beyond what is visible, “When facing the work and identifying the existence of many things, I feel as if I am immersed in the space. I believe this leads to confronting myself.”
Akiko Mashima (b.1952, Saga, Japan) received her BFA in sculpture from the Musashino Art University, Tokyo in 1976 and attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1978-1979, and the Art Students League from 1979-1980. She based her artistic activity in New York until 2000 when she returned to Japan where she now lives in Kanagawa. Mashima is the recipient of a Robert Smithson Memorial Scholarship in Sculpture (1978-1979), and received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1988. Her work has been exhibited at KOKI ARTS, Tokyo; OK Harris, NYC; Lehigh University, PA; Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tochigi, Japan; New York University and University of Notre Dame, among others. Her work is represented by Maus Contemporary, Birmingham, AL.