Yutaka Sone, Little Manhattan, 2007-2009, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York
Artist Yutaka Sone is about to open his fifth solo show, entitled Island, at the David Zwirner gallery in New York City. Originally trained as an architect, now working in various media, from performance to sculpture, the artist questions our ideas of realism and perfection. Focusing primarily on landscapes and landmarks, his works offer insights into what they are, should be and really ought to be.
Whether carved from precious marble or organic matter, his pieces demonstrate an almost obsessive attention to detail into which the eye easily gets lost. Yet, they function as a whole, and the strength of their structure reminds us that details need not necessarily overpower the message or distract the craftsman from his ideal of beauty.
Case in point, the largest sculpture to be exhibited, entitled Little Manhattan is a delicately carved two-and-a-half ton block of marble, born from a lengthy and painstaking research process involving personal explorations as well as scouring countless online and offline sources. While the detail in which buildings and avenues are represented is nothing short of spectacular, the island’s weightless appearance and flowing contour leave the eye wondering whether it is looking at reality or one of its many doppelgängers.