|「いま、なぜ『具象』なの？」− 昨年のVOCA展シンポジウムの題。聴かなかったが、とぼけていると思う。VOCAで具象が脚光を浴びるようになったのは2005年の日野之彦の大賞受賞以降だ。以前はむしろ抽象ないし半抽象のための展覧会だった。2000年代半ばから若手画家は具象に走る。それは彼らの内発的な動きだったか？海外の具象画家が紹介されたのも一因かもしれない。が、｢具象を描けばVOCAに」と考えた人もいるのでは。なぜ具象? VOCAが具象をひいきするから､かもしれないのだ。迷える若い画家に「抽象でもいいんだよ」というメッセージを送るのも､VOCAの役割である。出来はいまひとつでも抽象の作品にあえて賞を出すことで､そうしたメッセージを世の画家たちに伝えることができる。ある価値観を示すことで､人を動かす。政治の｢王道｣だ。選考委員は“美術政治"の権力者である。権力は社会に必要で､良きものだ。適正に行使してほしい。｢具象｣の流れにさおさすばかりでは、選考の意味がない。
"Why figurative art now?" This was the title of the VOCA exhibition symposium last year.
I didn't attend the symposium, but I think that whoever asked this question was pretending ignorance.
Figurative art has gained more attention in VOCA since the receipt of the grand prize by Hino Korehiko in 2005. Prior to that year, it had primarily been an exhibition of abstract and semi-abstract painting. Since the mid-2000s young artists have been turning more and more to figurative images. Is this due to internal motivation? Information on figurative artists from overseas may also have been a factor.
There may even be artists who think they can get into VOCA if they paint figuratively. Why figurative art? It seems that VOCA may have come down on the side of figuration.
I believe that VOCA should send the message to young artists that abstraction is also acceptable. This message could be conveyed by deliberately giving prizes to abstract paintings even if they are not as accomplished as some other works. People can be influenced if they are presented with a certain system of values. This is how politics works. The jurors are authority figures in the system of "art politics". Authority is necessary in society. and can be a good thing. l hope that it will be exercised appropriately. The selection process is not meaningful if it intervenes in favor of figurative art alone.
Now let me turn to the painting of Kadota Mitsumasa, who has had few opportunities to show his work in public. Abstraction may be considered old-fashioned in some ways, but his painting contains marvelously nuanced brushwork and colors that run, twist, flow, and some times suggest form. The artist seems to be expressing the original joy of a first encounter with the world of paint and canvas. We should notice that each stroke is carefully controlled by the artist. The viewer who looks at the picture with an open mind finds that every part of it is new and fresh.