Similarly, Okakura Kakuzō wrote of the Japanese tea room in 1906: “Even in the daytime, the light in the room is subdued…everything is sober in tint from the ceilings to the floor…It is not intended for posterity and is therefore ephemeral. Art, to be fully appreciated, must be true to contemporaneous life.”16
Okakura is speaking of a space for contemplation, in which tea is the “ceremonial beverage” for an experience of the mind. Likewise, the murals of Peter’s Proscenium are only temporary, as they will be painted over at the conclusion of the exhibition.
There is no shortage of the fantastic in Peter’s Proscenium
to activate perceptual knowledge, embrace abstractions and the mimetic, and underscore the remarkable “instrument” that is the brain. Artists can take back art, leave its history to the historians, and redirect us to the secular miracle of thinking. As American engineer Vannevar Bush wrote in 1945: “The human mind…operates by association [wherein] the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.”17
Willy Rotzler, Constructive Concepts: A History of Constructive Art from Cubism to the Present
(New York: Rizzoli, 1977/1989), 11.
The first collaborative exhibition was at Instants Chavirés, Montreuil, France in 2016; the second at MNAC Bucharest, Romania in 2018–2019, though the latter took the form of two consecutive solo shows where Zarka’s sculptures were installed within an existing mural environment previously created by Hidaka.
Email to the author, 2 July 2019.
The term craftsman now has a pejorative tone – the “servant” of a “master” concept – but in the Renaissance artists and artisans were often polymaths. Paradoxically, geometricism in the early modern period returned flat space to art in the evacuation of image for the non-objective.
See Alexander Nagel and Christopher S. Wood, “Towards a New Model of Renaissance Anachronism,” The Art Bulletin
85, no. 3 (September 2005): 403–415.
Hidaka’s door is based on the door to artist Giorgio Morandi’s (1890–1964) apartment in Bologna. The panel painting Niche 1
is subtitled Morandi/Pacioli
, for the painter and Luca Pacioli.
Casein is a milk-protein based medium that has been used since antiquity.
8 Niche II
(Sima) was painted for the artists’ first collaborative exhibition in 2016. One of the six – yet to be finished (or perhaps never to be finished) – is based on a cloth element from Antonello da Messina’s St. Jerome in His Study, c. 1474–1475 (collection of the National Gallery, London).
Christophe Gallois, The Shapes of Science: Interview with Raphaël Zarka
(Paris: Musée des arts et métiers, 2016), http://raphaelzarka.com/pdf/2016_CHRISTOPHE_GALLOIS_MNAM.pdf.
Email to the author, 28 June 2019.
Email to the author, 28 June 2019.
Gallois, The Shapes of Science
Christian Hidaka, “Cubism and non-Linearity” (Revoir Picasso symposium, Musée national Picasso-Paris, 25 March 2015), http://revoirpicasso.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RevoirPicasso-2015_J1_Ch.Hidaka.pdf.
Walter Hopps, The Dream Colony, A Life in Art
, ed. Deborah Treisman (New York, London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 183. This 1965 exhibition organized by Hopps was mounted at the (then) National Collection of Fine Arts, originally housed in the Natural History building of the Smithsonian.
Jun'ichirō Tanizaka, In Praise of Shadows
(New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, Inc., 1977), 20.
Okakura Kakuzō, The Book of Tea
(Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1956; first published in December 1933 and January 1934), in order, from pages 63, 65, 67.
Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” The Atlantic Monthly
, July 1945,
was born in Noda, Japan and currently lives and works in London, UK. He studied Fine Art at Winchester School of Art, UK and the Royal Academy Schools, London, UK. Hidaka’s paintings have been widely exhibited internationally, including solo and group shows at MNAC Bucharest (Romania), MAK Vienna (Austria), CAC Le Grand Café (St. Nazaire, France), Synagogue de Delme (France), MUDAM (Luxembourg), Torrance Art Museum (USA), The Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, USA), The Goss-Michael Foundation (Dallas, USA), Le Consortium (Dijon, France) and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Germany). His work is in numerous collections, including Centre National d’Art Plastique (Paris, France), MUDAM Collection (Luxembourg), The Israel Museum (Jerusalem), The Saatchi Gallery (London, UK), Sigg Collection (Switzerland), and many others. He is represented by Michel Rein Gallery, Paris/Brussels.
was born in Montpellier, France and studied at the Winchester School of Art, UK and at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, where he currently lives and works. Zarka’s works have been exhibited in institutions worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France), Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo (Rome, Italy), Museo Experimental el Eco (Mexico), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (France), Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Espai d’art Contemporani de Castelló (Castellon, Spain), and Modern Art Oxford (UK). His work is part of prestigious collections, he was awarded the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in 2008 and he was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2013. Zarka is also the author of four books related to the practice of skateboarding published by B42. He is represented by Michel Rein Gallery, Paris/Brussels and Luciana Brito, São Paulo.
is an art historian who has held curatorial positions in public galleries across Canada and in Australia. He is the recipient of a Canada Council senior grant for independent curators and a professional development grant from the Australia Council for a research residency at the Kamakura and Hayama Museum of Modern Art in Japan. Holubizky received his PhD in art history from the University of Queensland, Australia, and has contributed writing to numerous publications on historical, modern and contemporary topics in art and culture in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His most recent published writing is the Art Canada Institute monograph on painter Gershon Iskowitz.
Peter's Proscenium is generously supported by Institut français and the Cultural & Science Services of the Embassy of France in Canada.
Mural assistants: Anthony Bodin, Phu Bui, Corinne Carlson.
Sculpture assistants: Ryan Legassicke, Kayla Whitney.
Special thanks to: Imagefoundry and Toronto Image Works.
Essay: Ihor Holubizky | Design: Tony Hewer | Editing: Shannon Anderson, Mona Filip.
Koffler Gallery installation photos: Toni Hafkenscheid
Digital publication to the exhibition Peter's Proscenium
Presented by the Koffler Gallery | June 20 – August 18, 2019 | Curator: Mona Filip
© Koffler Centre of the Arts, 2019, in collaboration with the individual contributors. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-928175-20-9.