The categorical differences presumed to exist between “art,” “art history,” and “art about history” are powerfully challenged if not completely collapsed in the exhibition “Ben Sakoguchi: Paintings 1966-2008” at Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art. The works on view are exquisitely sensitive to the rhythms of popular culture and to a communications and media culture that has dramatically changed since this artist began his post Pop Art project in the mid nineteen sixties. Sakoguchi’s paintings, however, have changed very little. Then as now, the artist examines historical events and judges them in a tone of voice carefully modulated between comedy and tragedy; smiling, as he must, through the tears. “History does not belong to us,” argues Hans-Georg Gadamer “but we belong to it.” Thus, he continues, “the first item on the agenda is finding the way to win back a horizon that includes art and history together.” In a manner perhaps not anticipated by the German philosopher, Sakoguchi attains this goal and more.
“Ben Sakoguchi: Paintings 1966-2008” is part of Pacific Standard Time. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.