It’s Personal
Solo Show featuring Ward Yoshimoto
Curators Lynn del Sol & Zena el Khalil

Run dates: March 24th- April 23rd, 2005
Opening Reception: Thursday March 25th, 7pm
Location: xanadu*
Directions: 217 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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Xanadu* is delighted to present Ward Yoshimoto’s “It’s Personal”, a solo exhibition featuring new works incorporating box constructions and assemblages of industrial materials and mass produced products.

His works, reminiscent of those of Joseph Cornell, blend the duality of social concerns and fragments of his personal history. Paying special attention to the object, the artist is able to create a contextual visual metaphor between his formal concerns of the traditional arts as well as to explore the creative act of selection. During his residence at The MacDowell Colony in 2004, the artist attempted to remove the preciousness of the used object and the obvious personal connection to them from of his work. What he discovered is that because of the process and choice of materials, the work will always have his personal history and visual style underlying in its structure.

The use of crushed beer cans in “It’s Personal” speaks of time and process; saved over years they represent a timeline. As in the piece “Crushed“ the sky and ground become abstract metaphors for imagined space, a post-apocalyptic view, an abstract representation of the devastation left by the use of nuclear weapons. Photography from the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki informed much of what is underlying in this piece. Some of this work was inspired by Yoshimoto’s early forays in painting, reinvestigate the suburban landscape. While still referencing his interest in the Japanese screen and its relationship to landscape painting he has tried to create a visual style that transcends both his heritage as well as himself as a American visual artist. Part of this new work deals with Yoshimoto’s concerns with the nuclear proliferation in the world today. And, as an American with Japanese decent he has found “that” as a solution is unacceptable.

The artist would like to thank The MacDowell Colony for inspiration and the seeds for this show.


about the artist: Ward Yoshimoto commingles American and Japanese traditions and craftsmanship in his deft assemblages of found objects. Referencing Dada, Surrealism, and Pop, as well as the turbulent social and political landscape of his youth, Yoshimoto’s wry constructions address an ongoing history of cultural displacement with equal parts iconoclastic brio and meditative, almost obsessive rigor.

about the curator: Lynn del Sol Born and raised in New York, Lynn del Sol currently lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In late 2003 she left the commercial art world and set to create a vehicle for expletory artists to exhibit their works to the public by founding {CTS} creative thriftshop, a young art company that represents international emerging and underrepresented artists.

about the curator: Zena el Khalil, born 1976 in London, has lived in Nigeria, London, New York, and Beirut. Zena is an installation artist, a painter, and writer and holds a MFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. el Khalil has been involved in a love/hate relationship with Beirut for the past decade- clearly evident in her work. el-Khalil is also the co-founder and director of xanadu*.

about the gallery: xanadu* an art space/collective based in Beirut with a small extension in New York city, dedicated to promoting young and/or under-represented artists. xanadu* was born on the number 2 train in New York City in 2001. Zena el Khalil and Imad Khachan felt that within New York City there was an under representation of budding international artists, especially from Arab and Eastern countries.

  Installation View: It's Personal, Xanadu* Gallery, New York, 2005.
Image courtesy of {CTS} creativethriftshop