Works by a quartet of stellar late twentieth century artists; Andy
Warhol, Yoko Ono, Max Bill and Nam Jun Paik are featured in an exhibition
at the Watarium Museum. The exhibition illustrates the Museum's founder,
Watari San's, fine collection of contemporary art.
Max Bill is represented with a sculpture, "Endless ribbon for three positions",
(1974-5). It is a highly polished bronze piece, shaped like a symbol for
eternity. Displaying a trait of the Minimalist style, the title of the
work, is a dead pan description of it. The piece can be rolled over into
three other positions. Which viewers obediently but mentally do when looking
The star of the show (and of the 60's) is Andy Warhol. A large selection
of Warhol's art including many famous portraits is on display. Also included
is a large work on the assassination of JF Kennedy. This piece uses the
newspaper report of the incident over which Warhol's has silk-screened
his trademark images.
Among the many famous works from the Watarium's extensive Warhol collection
are a series of drawings of his cat. Seeing these cute child-like drawings
adds a touch of humanity to an artist who seemed otherwise so self absorbed.
Shinning as brightly in the star stakes is Yoko Ono. On display is her
1966 chess set. In this work, instructively titled, "Play it by Trust",
all the pieces and squares on the game board are white. This undermines
the usual combative nature of the game and pushes the concept beyond merely
boards games and art.
Nam Jun Paik is one of the most influential and earliest artist to work
with video. "Eurasian Way" 1993 included in this exhibition, is a large
sprawling floor installation. It is a jumble sale of stuff from Central
Asia. Video monitors surrounding the work, but facing the ceiling, show
a documentary about foreigners travelling on a Silk Road safari.
The whole exhibition seems to parallel this Nam Jun Paik piece and lacks
a clear structure. However, also like the Nam Jun Paik work, sometimes
in art coherent, logical, understanding is less important than a passion