Always Lonely: En Iwamura Epic Emptiness @ Ross + Kramer
En Iwamura's works are friendly, almost as if they are saying hello to you as you pass by one of his ceramic sculptures. And yet he conveys something of a sadness, makin the title of his show, Always Lonely, feel so damn on target. Walking into his new exhibition at Ross + Kramer Gallery in NYC, there is space, almost desolate, and yet a warmness in the works. A massive black bronze work dominates your view, with smaller works to the side, almost watching you watching the bigger works to see your reaction. It's jarring and sublime.
Last year, Iwamura told us in a feature of his work, "My philosophy is based on Ma, the Japanese concept of space. Ma implies distance, moment, space, relationship, and more. People constantly read and measure different Ma between themselves and others, and finding a comfortable Ma between people or places can produce specific relationships at a given moment. Through my work, I intend to create such an encounter and provide an opportunity for viewers to recognize the Ma themselves through entering the space." Always Lonely is the epitome of this concept. Space is so important, as is your relationship with the characters and the distance they elicit.
Iwamura has said the pandemic has drawn him closer to family while simultaneously experiencing loss. This show works in that way. His ceramic works seem to be watching the world with you, with two massive bronze works dominating the show and imposing in their innocence. It's a powerfully quiet experience. —Evan Pricco