Artforum.com Critics’ Pick: Jon Sasaki at Jessica Bradley
When I first started to regularly write reviews four years ago, Jon Sasaki‘s show—with Jessica Vallentin—at the now-defunct Red Bull 381 Projects was one of the first exhibitions I wrote about. It’s been a pleasure to follow his work since then. His projects exhibit a distinctive blend of earnestness and tongue-in-cheek humour that somehow never strays into apathy or pastiche (a difficult balancing act to pull off). When Jessica Bradley opened her new Annex space this past fall with a group show of works by her stable of artists, Sasaki contributed a piece that was, well, quintessentially Sasaki: a conveyor belt, propped up high above the viewer on some scaffolding, that very slowly released one burst of confetti over the course of the exhibition. Watching the little pieces of white paper flutter to the ground was like an invitation to a slow, slightly absurd celebration. It brought to mind the long-term, sometimes banal, work that goes on behind the scenes before the opening of a new space or exhibition without diminishing the importance of, or enthusiasm behind, that labour.
Now, Sasaki has a solo show of recent works on view at Jessica Bradley’s Dundas Street location that brings together photography, painting, installation and video projects that each reference the natural landscape in some way. My review of the show is up as a Critics’ Pick for Artforum.com, where I try to grapple with Sasaki’s masterful blend of both the beautiful and the bodily elements of the landscape.
(I’m also going to go ahead and echo Terence Dick’s suggestion that someone snap up Sasaki’s three photographs of bacterial cultures grown from the palettes once used by Group of Seven painters. I have the perfect spot for the Casson image in my hallway, if anyone is looking to find me a very early birthday present)
Jon Sasaki’s solo show continues at Jessica Bradley to March 16.