The lonely crowd


In a week or so, Kiyoshi Kawaguchi returns to Viridian Artists with a show of recent work about urban life that lives somewhere on a spectrum that includes both Ben Shahn and Stuart Davis. He’s exhibited at Viridian in 1978 and again in 2010. Like an elbow-to-shoulder subway ride, his images are busy and packed with life, but also quietly sad and solitary. The lonely crowd in Tokyo looks remarkably like the one in Manhattan. The artist’s contiguous faces seem isolated and mute, and yet they fit snugly, perfectly together like fragments of a child’s easy jigsaw puzzle. All those seemingly autonomous figures create a unified, interdependent whole. It’s how art, and life, work. (When they do. ) It’ll be going up next weekend and runs until Sept. 28, when it will head back for a show in Tokyo. I hope I can get time to talk with him while he’s here.

“Kawaguchi captures the exuberance and complex rhythms of city life with simple geometry and vibrant color. Kawaguchi paints bright pictures of a hyperlinked humankind full of possibilities, including being tangled by its own connections.”

–Deirdre S. Greben, former managing editor ARTnews

“Kiyoshi Kawaguchi …synthesizes classical American 30′s and 40′s traditionalism with Japanese modern day technology and craziness of city life… While other artists ignore the world situation and brand their works with Louie Vuitton, Kawaguchi foresees the future and tells it through his cryptic paintings.”

–Walter Wickiser, of Walter Wickiser Gallery, Inc

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