Koji Enokura at VeneKlasen Werner, Berlin

Intervention Number 1, 1985. Courtesy the artist and VeneKlasen Werner.

Throughout his professional life Koji Enokura created works that challenged the established modes of Japanese art. Rising to notoriety in the late 1960s and 1970s as a central figure in the Tokyo-based Mono-ha collective, Enokura continued to have an active presence in the Asian and international art scenes until his death in 1995. This exhibition of Enokura’s oeuvre is the first of its kind to be staged in Berlin, and features a variety of works on paper alongside some more sculptural wall-based pieces.

The exhibition includes a number of black and white photographs from early on in Enokura’s career, which highlight the artist’s enduring preoccupation with space – its framing and its material reality. Print (STORY AND MEMORY No. 1), 1993 comprises a large hanging grey curtain, with three identical oval-esque stains. Screen-printed onto the cloth, these stains imbue the work with a violent tension.

The rich terracotta of the floor tiles at VeneKlasen Werner brings out the sepia tones of the works on paper in the third room, which makes for a more relaxing experience. Again employing a screen printing technique, Enokura is able to create a series of bold, angular shapes, affording these works an abstract vernacular. Enokura’s process allows the ink to seep in to the paper, blurring the notion of precision which tended to characterise much of Japanese art before the Mono-ha movement.

Until 5 March at VeneKlasen Werner,  Rudi-Dutschke-Str. 10969 Berlin.

www.vwberlin.com

SARAH BOLWELL