Curated by Michelle Bello
May 7 to June 25, 2016
Artist Reception – Saturday, May 7, 5pm to 7pm
Nancy Toomey Fine Art
1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco
Gallery owner Nancy Toomey and curator Michelle Bello are pleased to announce a solo exhibition of works by Miya Ando entitled Atmosphere at Nancy Toomey Fine Art from May 7 to June 25, 2016, located inside San Francisco’s newest art complex Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street. The public is invited to the artist reception on Saturday, May 7, from 5pm to 7pm.
Curator Michelle Bello was an early champion of Miya Ando’s work back when the artist had her studio in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood before she relocated to New York City and started showing internationally. Ando’s Bay Area homecoming exhibition happily coincides with San Francisco’s visual arts renaissance featuring two major additions–the eagerly awaited new contemporary arts community Minnesota Street Project and the reopening of SFMOMA.
In Atmosphere Miya Ando will premiere her latest body of work using a pioneering technique and medium of woven silver. This material is made from pure silver fibers woven into a gossamer textile. Ando then uses a traditional, historic patina to transform the surface of the woven silver fabric to create light-reflecting and ethereal paintings that evoke natural phenomena. Also included in the show are works on steel, aluminum, and wood–which have been painted with chemicals, pigments, or manipulated with heat, sandpaper, dye, ink, and other applied processes.
A descendant of Bizen sword maker Ando Yoshiko Masakatsu, artist Miya Ando was raised among swordsmiths turned Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan. Half Japanese and half Russian-American, she grew up bilingually within two distinct cultures, spending her childhood between Japan and Northern California. She apprenticed with a contemporary Japanese master of metalsmith and now combines traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology to create abstract paintings and sculptures.
The foundation of her practice is the transformation of surfaces. Ando produces light-reflecting gradients on her metal paintings by applying heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid, and patinas, irrevocably altering the material’s chemical properties. By an almost meditative daily repetition of these techniques, she is able to subtract, reduce, and distill her concept until it reaches its simplest form. For Ando, a practicing Buddhist, the paradoxical pairing of metal with spiritual subject matter is intentional.
“My work is an exploration into the duality of metal and its ability to convey strength and permanence, yet in the same instance, to absorb shifting color and capture the fleetingness of light. It reminds us of the transitory nature of all things in life,” says Ando. “I’m also interested in drawing people into a slowed-down environment, especially in this current accelerated world. My artworks are experiential and shift as one walks around them. The longer the viewer interacts with the work, the more they change.”
Miya Ando received a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. Ando’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world, including a recent show curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum. Her large-scale installation piece Emptiness The Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) was featured in the Frontiers Reimagined exhibition in the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. She has produced numerous public commissions, most notably a memorial sculpture in which she utilized a 30-foot tall piece of steel which had fallen from the World Trade Center buildings. The sculpture is permanently displayed in front of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. A Critic’s Pick in Artforum magazine in 2015, Ando is also recipient of numerous awards including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant.