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Shigeko Kubota: Liquid Reality

August 21, 2021 - January 1, 2022

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art announces Shigeko Kubota: Liquid Reality, on view in the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, and adjacent Gallery 414 from August 21, 2021, through January 1, 2022. Likening video technology to a “new paintbrush,” New York–based Shigeko Kubota (Japanese, 1937–2015) was one of the first artists to commit to the video medium in the early 1970s. Though formally trained as a sculptor, Kubota’s varied accomplishments as an artist, collaborator, curator, and critic helped to shape a pivotal period in the evolution of video as an art form.

The first solo presentation of the artist’s work at a US museum in 25 years, this exhibition focuses on a body of work whose resonances are particularly poignant amid the digitally interconnected world of today.

The six sculptural works in the exhibition include: Three Mountains (1976-1979), Berlin Diary: Thanks to My Ancestors (1981), River (1979-1981), Niagara Falls I (1985), Video Haiku (1981), and Duchampiana: Nude Descending a Staircase (1976).

Shigeko Kubota: Liquid Reality is organized by Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Associate Curator, with the support of Veronika Molnar, Intern, Department of Media and Performance.

 

The exhibition is presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

Major support is provided by the Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions.

Generous funding is provided by the Lonti Ebers Endowment for Performance and the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.

Images

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Peter Moore. Photograph of Shigeko Kubota reflected in Three Mountains (1976–79) in her loft on Mercer Street, New York, 1979. Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Photo © 2021 Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Shown: Shigeko Kubota. Three Mountains. 1976–79. Four-channel standard-definition video (color, sound; approx. 30 min. each), seven cathode-ray tube monitors, plywood, and mirrors, overall dimensions variable. © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Shigeko Kubota. Berlin Diary: Thanks to My Ancestors. 1981. Cathode-ray tube monitor, crystal, ink, and twine. 9 × 8 × 11 in. (22.9 × 20.3 × 27.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Modern Women’s Fund, 2021. Photo: Simon Veres, courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter. © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Shigeko Kubota. Video Haiku–Hanging Piece. 1981. Cathode-ray tube monitor, closed-circuit video camera, mirror, and plywood. Overall dimensions variable, mirror: 40 × 42 in. (101.6 × 106.7 cm). Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Installed in Options 9: Shigeko Kubota, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 1981. Photo: Robert Haller. Photo courtesy Robert Haller. Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Shigeko Kubota. Video Haiku–Hanging Piece (detail with Kubota in the reflection). 1981. Cathode-ray tube monitor, closed-circuit video camera, mirror, and plywood. Overall dimensions variable, mirror: 40 × 42 in. (101.6 × 106.7 cm). Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Installed in Options 9: Shigeko Kubota, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 1981. Photo: Robert Haller. Photo courtesy Robert Haller and Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Peter Moore. Portrait of Shigeko Kubota with Three Mountains (1976-79) in her loft on Mercer Street, New York, 1979. [Awaiting credit line ] Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Peter Moore. Photograph of Shigeko Kubota’s Niagara Falls I installed in Niagara Falls: Summer, Fall, and Winter, The Kitchen, 1985. Four-channel video (color, sound; 30:55 min.), ten cathode-ray tube monitors, plastic mirrors, plywood, water, and sprinkler system, 8 ft. × 54 in. × 8 ft. (243.8 × 137.2 × 243.8 cm). Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Photo courtesy Barbara Moore and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Peter Moore. Photograph of Shigeko Kubota’s River (1979-81) installed in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1983. Three-channel standard-definition video (color, silent; approx. 32 min.), three cathode-ray tube monitors, stainless steel, plastic mirrors, water, and wave machine. Overall dimensions variable, basin: 22 × 9 × 4 ft. (670.6 × 274.3 × 121.9 cm). Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Photo courtesy Barbara Moore and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Peter Moore. Photograph of Shigeko Kubota’s River (1979-81) installed in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1983. Three-channel standard-definition video (color, silent; approx. 32 min.), three cathode-ray tube monitors, stainless steel, plastic mirrors, water, and wave machine. Overall dimensions variable, basin: 22 × 9 × 4 ft. (670.6 × 274.3 × 121.9 cm). Courtesy Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation. Photo courtesy Barbara Moore and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Shigeko Kubota. Duchampiana: Nude Descending a Staircase (1976). Standard-definition video and Super 8mm film transferred to video (color, silent; 5:21 min.), four cathode-ray tube monitors, and plywood. 66 1/4 × 30 15/16 × 67 in. (168.3 × 78.6 × 170.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Margot and John Ernst, Agnes Gund, and Barbara Pine, 1981. Photo: John Wronn. Digital image © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging and Visual Resources. Artwork © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY