Event Public Program

Kishio Suga

1 December 2016 – 8.30pm

Kishio Suga in context

An evening with Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art


Introduced by Vicente Todolí, Artistic Director of Pirelli HangarBicocca

Kishio Suga now enjoys a rapidly growing international reputation for his practice that continues to explore the principles he first developed as part of the Mono-ha group, in an artistic journey lasting some 50 years. Looking at his oeuvre, one can clearly see how—like the work of other Mono-ha artists—it contains certain elements shared by American post-minimalism and Land Art, and Italian Arte Povera: the combination of natural materials and industrial objects; the importance of architecture and space, which become key factors in the work; the relationship to landscape; and the ephemeral nature of the pieces. Simon Groom, who curated “Mono-ha: School of Things” in 2001, the first Mono-ha retrospective in Great Britain, discusses the cultural, historic, and artistic context in which Mono-ha developed, while also looking at the topicality and significance of Kishio Suga’s work for a new generation of artists.

Simon Groom is Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1989 with a degree in English Literature, then spent a year living and working in Japan, and three years in Italy, where he taught English Literature and Critical Theory at the University of Florence. In 1994 he returned to London, completing a doctorate in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1999. For three years he was the curator at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, where he organized, among other shows, the first UK retrospective of Mono-ha. In 2003, he was appointed Head of Exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, where he curated numerous exhibitions of modern and contemporary international art, including “The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China” in 2007, as well as developing Tate’s acquisition strategy in Asia. In November 2007 he was appointed Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.  He is the curator of the show “Karla Black and Kishio Suga: A New Order” at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (October 22, 2016 – February 19, 2017).

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