I have found another great artist in Tomoo Gokita. Of anything I have seen recently his works seem to be an actual continuation of a linear art history. Gokita’s pieces in the show ‘Heaven’ at Honor Fraser in Culver City have obvious influences by the Surrealists (Hello, Salvador Dali and Man Ray – maybe some Rene Magritte?) as well as Cubists references in his past works (see ATM Gallery in New York City’s last showing of Gokita’s works). Gokita’s large-scale pieces have a consistent blue palate throughout and border between representational and abstract. Some pieces have clear figurative elements like the one shown here. Although, that was not the case for most of the show. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the works of Tomoo Gokita, I knew that I loved the palate as well as the curation and use of gallery space, but the work was at first so different, I was not sure how I felt until thinking about the show on the way home. I began thinking about art history, the Modern, PostModern and Contemporary periods – then the movements contained within them. Surrealism obviously stood out at Honor Fraser that night, but I also saw references to Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. This may be a stretch, but could Gokita be recalling an infamous ‘blue period’ of a Modern painter (psst.. Picasso)? While looking into the past works of Gokita I came across a collection of his pieces shown by ATM Gallery, these pieces all had a black/white/grey color palete and contained obvious Cubist references. These pieces are what made me fully appreciate what Gokita is doing through his work. He is giving us a continuation of art history. If art moved linearly – haha, yeah right – I believe this is about where we could be. Artists subverting the famous movements of the Modern and Contemporary Periods. Gokita, for me, has combined the works of Salvador Dali with Picasso, stirred in some Tamara de Lempicka, muted the palate – which is also very Cubist – and given the final product to us here.
Heaven by Tomoo Gokita will remain at Honor Fraser (2622 S La Cienega, Culver City) through December 17th.