CONCORD, MASS.- Lucy Lacoste Gallery presents Introducing Lena Takamori: In Hand, On Foot August 28 – September 25, 2021, in Concord MA. This is the artist’s first US solo exhibition. This body of work explores through sculpture the carrying of belongings and the idea of a ground level journey. The work examines the act of being in-between as both a physical experience with its own logistical challenges, but also as a state of being in the world.
Lena Takamori (b.1990 in Seattle, Washington) is an artist with a background in sculpture. She received her BFA from the Cooper Union in New York and has also studied at Kyoko Seika University in Japan. Takamori currently resides in Bristol, England where she maintains her studio practice. She has shown with Kunstforum Solothurn in Switzerland since 2017. Her work can be seen in the collection of the Musée Ariana (Ariana Museum), Geneva, Switzerland.
In the sculpture Bending with Backpack, a woman bends to adjust her shoe and in doing so the weight of the backpack is tipping forward, as though all the weight of the world is on her shoulders. The artist sees the heavy coat she is wearing as a kind of shelter for a person making a foot journey. The viewer can interpret this beautiful sculpture as a metaphor for the burdens born by women and experience what it is like to travel by foot with no real shelter.
In Women with Suitcases, the artist focused on posture and mark making. Again, the weight of the suitcases and the way the woman is holding them has caused her body to bend forward to accommodate the load. In pieces such as this, where the drawing and brush marks are prioritized, the artist shows restraint in describing too much when drawing. It is the brush work and mark making that contributes to the feeling of the piece, rather than lines that are too overly explanatory.
In Double Cloud, the piece developed through sculpting, rather than a preconceived idea. Initially interested in the finger marks pulling through and the sense of motion that can be captured through this action, the finger marks became the rain coming down from the clouds, as the artist recalls a summer day watching rain clouds pass over a body of water.
In this essay Every Bag, which accompanies the show (shown opposite), the artist muses on bags, their weight, and contents, and the carrying. The journey itself is the other half of the equation: the departing, the path, the transit.
As Lucy Lacoste states: I am very pleased to introduce Lena Takamori in her first solo exhibition in the US. She speaks thoughtfully with her own voice, as a contemporary woman, from the perspective of her American and Japanese roots. She is an artist with a big future ahead.
Every bag needs to be put down eventually. We hope to arrive before then. But with every departure is an imagined arrival.
The hovering, suspended space, the inability to rest, the act of being in- between.
And in the bags? Tools maybe - tokens of the past - or maybe snacks for the road?
Things that make sense to me - specifically me - and therefore I call them mine, and I keep them close at hand - zipped up and attached to me.
Once actively in-between, let me try not to touch the ground too much, or as little as possible. And I want to keep my bags off the ground too. It can be a precarious space, in-between.
Sometimes the decision to depart is made without our choosing, and an island is swallowed up by the sea. Maybe somewhere else an island breaks through the water’s surface.
It’s possible we don’t end up where we imagined.
Our path may look like many small in-betweens dotted between harbors. Or, in a more ultimate sense, just one long in-between and one final destination.
A tree in transit - round root ball bundled in burlap.
Or a miniature planet, home to a single tree - making its slow orbit.
-Lena Takamori, 2021