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Details
Tomoo Gokita (b. 1969)
Reign of Blows
signed, titled and dated '"Reign of Blows" Tomoo Gokita 2007' (on the reverse)
acrylic gouache on canvas
57 ¼ x 44 in. (145.4 x 111.8 cm.)
Painted in 2007.
Provenance
ATM Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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Kathryn Widing
Kathryn Widing

Lot Essay

"Mr. Gokita's vocabulary barrels across illustration, pornography, abstraction, children's drawing, calligraphy and sign-painting, with a perfect control, velvety surfaces and tonal range that makes black-and-white feel like living color." (R. Smith, “Invading Genres Breach the Art World's Porous Borders,” New York Times, 9 March 2005).
Reign of Blows (2007) is a potent example from Tomoo Gokita’s celebrated and increasingly illustrious oeuvre. Through the striking interplay of abstract form overlaying a boundless, matte-black background, Reign of Blows arouses a commanding ambience evocative of film noir, darkly resplendent and cryptic in its heady concoction of Surrealism, Cubism, Neo-Expressionism and Japanese graphic design. As Roberta Smith astutely notes, “Mr. Gokita's vocabulary barrels across illustration, pornography, abstraction, children's drawing, calligraphy and sign-painting, with a perfect control, velvety surfaces and tonal range that makes black-and-white feel like living color” (R. Smith, “Invading Genres Breach the Art World's Porous Borders,” New York Times, 9 March 2005).
Tomoo Gokita rose to contemporary art stardom nearly a decade after forging a successful career for himself as an illustrator and graphic designer. Turning to painting full time around 2000, there was no going back for Gokita in his fervent pursuit of elegant yet sardonic interpretations of the imagery he consumes in everyday life and in mass media. The present lot is a striking example of the artist’s uncanny ability to incorporate elements of abstraction in his utterly contemporary commentary on his surroundings. In spite of international acclaim, the artist is notoriously restrained about the conceptual meaning of his work, heightening the uncanny enigmatic aura surrounding his signature nonconformist amorphous abstractions.

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