Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Kota Ezawa, his third with the gallery. At the heart of the exhibition will be the new multi-channel animated film, The Crime of Art, in which Ezawa re-creates – in his distinctive flattened, distilled style – scenes from Hollywood art heist films, among them The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), How to Steal a Million, Topkapi, and Entrapment. The 3-screen installation functions like a cinematic “exquisite corpse” in which one screen continues the narrative thread where the previous screen leaves off. In contrast to a Hollywood film, this animation has no beginning and no end.
Ezawa notes: “I like to think of crime in this work not as a mystery that needs to be resolved but as a snake that bites its own tail.”
Ezawa will also present a selection of light boxes that further his investigations into stolen works of art, including to-scale recreations of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, versions of which were stolen in 1994 and 2004, and Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was appropriated by the Nazi regime in 1938 and was famously repatriated to the Bloch-Bauer family in 2006.
Kota Ezawa (b. 1969, Cologne, Germany) lives and works in San Francisco, California. His work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at SITE Santa Fe, NM and in the group exhibition Art Lessons at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. Additionally, he has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA (2017); Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA (2015); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2013); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2013); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2009); Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, England (2007); and Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2006). Ezawa’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, CA; and Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; among others.