Kota Ezawa at Hamburger Kunsthalle

July 6, 2018

Kota Ezawa, Christopher Grimes Gallery

Kota Ezawa, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 2015, duratrans transparency and LED lightbox, 62-1/2 x 50-1/2 x 2-3/4 inches, 159 x 128 x 7 cm, edition of 5, with 2 AP

Kota Ezawa is included in the exhibition Nature Unleashed at Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany. In a large-scale exhibition spanning several epochs, the Hamburger Kunsthalle traces how artists working in different media portray natural catastrophes, while also shedding light on humanity’s failure to come to terms with nature due, among other things, to our faith in technology. Nature Unleashed: The Image of Catastrophe since 1600 features approximately 120 works, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs and films. As viewers make their way past blazing fires, earthquakes, floods, volcanic erruptions and sinking ships, they will take note of visual constants in the expression of such disasters while also becoming aware of the differences in depiction from one era to the next. The exhibition’s unique appeal lies in the close juxtaposition of artworks created centuries apart. 


Catastrophes are omnipresent. The media constantly reports on natural disasters, acts of war, political upheavals and other crisis scenarios, characterising them all with the common term "catastrophe." Catastrophes don’t just happen, they are made. It is only in our perception, in our active engagement with such drastic events, that they take on distinctive contours and reveal their visage. Every age makes creates its own catastrophes and redefines the criteria by which certain events are such labelled. These fundamental observations form the basis of the exhibition.


Alongside works from the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s own collections, important works were loaned by prestigious museums and collections including the Musée du Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in Berlin, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Kunsthaus Zurich. Nature Unleashed is on view through October 14.