Opening on September 21, 2006, David Zwirner is pleased to present a major new sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Yutaka Sone. It Seems Like Snow Leopard Island was featured in Sone's recent solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern in Bern, Switzerland–the largest European presentation of the artist's work to date and the third in a trilogy of exhibitions including Yutaka Sone: X-Art Show at the Aspen Museum of Art, Aspen, CO and Yutaka Sone Forecast: Snow at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (all 2006).
Sone was the subject of the seminal exhibition Yutaka Sone: Jungle Island at the MOCA, Los Angeles, CA (2003). In 2002, he had a solo show entitled Travel to Double River Island at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota City, Japan. In addition, Sone has participated in several major biennials, including the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2004), La Bienale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2003), The 25th Biennal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2002), 13th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2002), the Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2001), and Yokohama 2001: International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan (2001). This exhibition will inaugurate David Zwirner's new space at 519 West 19th Street.
Yutaka Sone's work encompasses painting, drawing, performance, sculpture, and video. From tiny crystal snowflakes to major works in marble, he is inspired by landscape; more specifically, snowy outdoor scenes. Many of his installations include live trees or plants, which, when interspersed with paintings, drawings, and sculptures, completely alter traditional gallery and museum exhibition spaces. Other prevalent themes are amusement and motion, which in past works have taken the form of roller coasters, the island of Hong Kong, and highway interchanges carved in pure white marble. In all of his works, Sone attempts to reveal the exquisite and the ephemeral–qualities that allude to our paradoxical relationship with nature.
It Seems Like Snow Leopard Island is thoroughly ambitious in both technique and scale. The fourteen foot-wide "island" is a self-contained environment with running rivers and live plants. Nesting within a curved pedestal, the sculpture seems to toy with issues of presentation and the idea of art as a living, changing organism. Intrigued by the habitat of the elusive snow leopard, Sone suggests that we reconsider–and subsequently celebrate–our fragile kinship with the outdoors.