Robert Kushner: Wild Gardens
Hardcover Smyth-sewn book, with jacket
120 pages with 78 full-color reproductions and 5 color photographs
Essays by Michael Duncan and Robert Kushner
Published with DC Moore Gallery, New York
Size: 10 x 9.25 in.
Motifs and compositions from Japanese art have been a major influence on Robert Kushner’s paintings on canvas and his works on paper for many years. However, the body of work presented here marks a new direction for the artist: painting directly on antique Japanese folding screens and sliding doors—with dazzling results.
The works in Wild Gardens reflect Kushner’s longtime appreciation of Japanese art and culture combined with the use of composer and visual artist John Cages “chance operation” system of composition. Multiple layers of randomness echo throughout the paintings. Rows of similar leaves or flowers are repeated, with the selection of color or form indicated by chance operation, and with the use of counting and placement systems that yield strangely unexpected but surprisingly naturalistic results.
In an eloquent, humorous essay, Kushner relates his discoveries, process, and passion in working with Japanese screens. An insightful essay by critic and curator Michael Duncan surveys Kushner’s evolution as one of America’s leading contemporary artists.