The Bay Area–based artist Kota Ezawa has joined Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, where he will have a solo show in 2020. Ezawa is also represented by Haines Gallery in San Francisco and Galerie Anita Beckers in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ezawa’s animations, slide projections, prints, and light boxes feature flattened color planes and, oftentimes, notable figures and events from history and pop culture. He has described video works as “moving paintings,” and his watercolor animation National Anthem (2018), which focuses on recent protests against police brutality and racism by players in NFL games, is currently on view in the Whitney Biennial.
Other pieces by Ezawa have centered on the O. J. Simpson trial and verdict, and the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. And some of his works have functioned as reconfigurations of famous paintings like Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
“We have been fans of Kota Ezawa’s work, ever since encountering The Simpson Verdict,” Jeff Lee, co-founder of the gallery, said in a statement. “It is one of those works in contemporary art that has an incredible lasting power, and which has managed to remain relevant and probing long after its creation. We believe that his most recent work, National Anthem will have the same lasting effect.”
Ezawa’s artworks have been exhibited at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the Mead Art Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. The artist’s work can be found in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive in California.