Art review: Takehito Koganezawa at Christopher Grimes Gallery

The premise of Takehito Koganezawa’s multi-channel video installation “Paint it Black, and Erase” is simple enough. Positioning a camera beneath a pane of glass loaded with wet, black pigment—an allusion to Hans Namuth’s famous film of Jackson Pollock painting on glass—the Tokyo-born, Berlin-based artist made quick, continuous drawings in the pigment with his hands for precisely 111 minutes and 11 seconds.

He repeated the exercise four times, to create four separate videos, three of which are installed as adjacent, wall-sized projections at Christopher Grimes Gallery. (The fourth was left out due to space considerations.)

The mesmerizing effect of the work would seem, however, to go well beyond the sum of its parts. What appears at a glance a stylish party trick, on par with the projections one finds in rock concerts and dance clubs, gets stranger and richer the longer one watches.

Each screen presents not merely a drawing, but an infinitely divisible sequence of drawings, one that is overwhelmingly difficult to keep visual track of, thanks to Koganezawa’s swift, calligraphically agile movements. The fundamental elements of drawing—line, stroke, shape, gradation, tone—tangle and merge and shift and disengage and tangle once more in the space of an instant.


A second work in the back gallery—an installation of 10 small monitors, each depicting the artist running his fingertip around the lip of a glass—generates an eerie, harmonic hum that serves as an apt, if inadvertent soundtrack for both pieces: structurally spare, sensorially immersive works that draw the viewer into a space of hypnotic reverie.

—Holly Myers

Christopher Grimes Gallery, 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 587-3373, through Sept. 1. Closed Sunday and Monday.