Art In America

Sadamasa Motonaga

at Fergus McCaffrey,
514 West 26th Street

Sadamasa Motonaga (1922-2011) worked as a manga artist and newspaper illustrator before joining Gutai, the Japanese collective renowned for its experiments with material, space and performance. In 1966 Motonaga moved to New York and returned to the world of two dimensions. The works assembled by Fergus McCaffrey from the second half of the artist's life are brightly colored surreal landscapes, totally flat save for the gradients that modulate the anonymous biomorphs that populate them. Work (Water)—a set of plastic tubes filled with dyed water—is the only throwback to Motonaga's Gutai period, but it's more subdued than the version installed at "Gutai: Splendid Playground," the 2013 survey at the Guggenheim. There, transparent cradles traversed the museum's atrium at dramatic diagonals, and the vivid water seemed kinetic, about to spill. At Fergus McCaffrey the evenly sized stripes of water cling to the front windows, where they measure out the width of panes of glass. Dye sparkles in natural light and colored shadows dance on the floor, highlighting the slender, strange and playful forms of Motonaga's paintings.

Pictured: Sadamasa Motonaga: Moko MokoMoko, 1976, acrylic on illustration board, 18½ by 24½ inches framed. © The Estate of Sadamasa Motonaga. Courtesy Fergus McCaffrey, New York / St. Barth.

 

More from the Lookout

Cindy Ji Hye Kim

at Helena Anrather,
through Jun. 23
28 Elizabeth Street

Mariah Robertson

at 11R,
through Jun. 9
195 Chrystie Street

“A Surrealist Banquet”

at Di Donna,
through Jun. 2
744 Madison Avenue

Elias Sime

at James Cohan,
through Jun. 17
533 West 26th Street

Naoki Sutter-Shudo

at Bodega,
through Jun. 11
167 Rivington Street

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Roni Horn

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
548 West 22nd Street

Rachel Harrison

at Greene Naftali,
through Jun. 17
508 West 26th Street

Susan Hiller

at Lisson Gallery,
through Jun. 10
504 West 24th Street

Lygia Clark

at Luhring Augustine,
through Jun. 17
531 West 24th Street

Nancy Spero

at Galerie Lelong,
through Jun. 17
528 West 26th Street

Closing

Richard Tinkler

at 56 Henry,
through May 28
56 Henry Street

Walead Beshty

at Petzel Gallery,
through Jun. 27
456 West 18th Street

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street

Closing

Siebren Versteeg

at bitforms gallery,
through May 28
131 Allen Street

“Formal Complaint”

at the Knockdown Center,
through Jun. 4
52-19 Flushing Ave., Queens

Closing

“Outlaw Glass”

at apexart,
through May 27
291 Church Street

Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue

Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini

at The Center for Italian Modern Art,
through Jun. 24
421 Broome Street

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.