As it had been 12 years since Ai Yamaguchi’s last solo exhibition in New York City, the level of expectation and excitement for her return was understandably high. Even so, Shinchishirin at the Joshua Liner Gallery, which opened May 8th, far exceeds those high expectations, and is arguably one of the artist’s finest bodies of work to date.
The imagery in the show is instantly recognizable as Yamaguchi, with her characteristic Edo-era courtesans depicted in a style which is at once based in traditional Japanese art and in Manga & Anime. In addition, she has continued exploring shaped and assembled paintings on fabric—some pieces heavily gessoed with a flat vibrant look, and others ungessoed with a softer appearance similar to watercolor. Yet, the incredible level of detail in and intricate composition of each of these new paintings, combined with the beautiful golden mural in the back space, all come together to make Shinchishirin a truly exceptional show.
Shinchishirin is on view through June 7, and AM highly recommends a visit to the Joshua Liner Gallery to experience this show firsthand. But until then, please view all our images from the show below.
Discuss Ai Yamaguchi here.