Kim Oliveros revisits the image of the Japanese geisha as a signifier of evanescence and fleeting beauty in Exquisite Enigma, his latest one-man show at Finale Art File.
The title of the exhibition is appropriated from a 1960 National Geographic article on Japanese life and culture, according to the artist. Here, Oliveros presents six painting-installations based on vintage photographs and postcards of Japan’s geishas, surrounded by dried blooms and wild plants encased in resin. Using the photographic process of collotype, Oliveros captures the hues of these fallen blooms: creating a sense of evanescence that has traditionally been associated with the figure of the geisha.
The paintings represent the geisha engaged in various activities—from reading a newspaper to practicing music and calligraphy to tying the obi sash. They works reflect Oliveros’ fascination with the transient beauty of a world fast disappearing in the face of modernity. As an artist, Oliveros treats form as a means of remembrance, a way of memorializing an enigmatic presence.
Artworks from the Show
Thinker, Dreamer and Whatever I, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 48×48 in
Thinker, Dreamer and Whatever II, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 48×48 in
Thinker, Dreamer and Whatever III, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 48×48 in
Between Magic and Reality, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72×54 in
Imaginary Landscape, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72×60 in
Complacency in My Head, Kim Oliveros, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72×60 in