Art & Design

Romancing the Stone: Yutaka Sone’s ‘Island’ at David Zwirner

Art & Design

Romancing the Stone: Yutaka Sone’s ‘Island’ at David Zwirner

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Upon entering New York’s David Zwirner gallery for Yutaka Sone‘s latest solo show, Island, I was greeted by a great commotion. The 46-year-old artist, clad in sweatpants, was scrawling the title of his exhibition in cursive turquoise lettering on an otherwise pristine white wall. Teetering atop a ladder, he’d shout out to no one in particular, sonic punctuations which were met with a collective gasp from the audience gathered at his feet. Once finished, he ran off to change into, well, anything but sweatpants for the show’s opening reception.

Island, which is comprised of a series of three-dimensional marble sculptures and Rattan-and-metal trees, spans two rooms of the gallery.
 Refreshingly, Sone’s sculptures don’t seem to reference anything outside of themselves, which is a welcome reprieve from the barrage of young artists whose works are accompanied by dissertation-length notes by way of explaining their place in the art canon. The show’s standout piece, “Little Manhattan,” is just that—a two-and-a-half-ton marble rendering of Manhattan. From a distance, it looks like a slab of stone roughly decapitated. Close up, it looks like, well, Manhattan.

Sone’s other replications consist of a series of banana tree sculptures and Light Between Trees, both of which appears to be crafted from Play-doh—and that’s a good thing.