Over his eighty years, Tokyo-born Keiichi Tanaami has had many careers: he worked in advertising during the postwar period, discovered the Pop scene and met Andy Warhol in his Factory in the 1960s, and served as an editor of the Japanese edition of Playboy in the ’70s. His recent mixed-medium paintings on view in “Visible Darkness, Invisible Darkness” synthesize widely recognizable imagery from various eras and traditions with personal memories in frenetically bright and complex compositions. Tanaami’s triptych The Last Supper (2015) adopts Leonardo’s iconic composition, replacing the apostles with twisted depictions of ghosts and demons typical of the Japanese print genre YÅ«rei-zu. Many works are tinged with the artist’s experiences of World War II. In Pleasure of the Mimicry (2015), cherry blossoms bloom around the border as a fighter plane leaves an explosion—punctuated with a comic-book “blam”—while two grinning Mexican sugar skulls, pocked with benday dots, hover in the foreground. The layered works, which combine digital printing techniques with silk-screen and acrylic paint, show how Pop’s methods can extend into the twenty-first century. —Julia Wolkoff
Pictured: Keichi Tanaami: Pleasure of the Mimicry, 2015, acrylic paint, digital pigment print, silkscreen print, and glass powder on canvas, 50â?? by 35â?? inches. Courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co.