Across a wide range of media—predominantly sculpture but also painting, drawing, photography, video, and performance—Yutaka Sone’s work revolves around a tension between realism and perfection. A conceptual framework, paired with a meticulous attention to detail, has characterized his practice since the early 1990s, informing equally his self-contained jungle environments, life-size roller coasters, magnified snowflakes, and staged events. His sculptural works in particular attest to a profound interest in landscapes, whether natural or architectural, and their ability to capture light relates them to a genre primarily associated with painting and photography.
Born in 1965 in Shizuoka, Japan, Sone studied fine art and architecture at Tokyo Geijutsu University. In 1999, the artist joined David Zwirner, where he had his inaugural United States solo exhibition that same year at the gallery in New York. In 2013, a solo exhibition of Sone’s sculptures marked his first presentation at the gallery’s London location. On view January 14 through February 20, 2016 at 525 West 19th Street in New York, Day and Night will be the artist’s seventh solo exhibition with David Zwirner.
The artist’s large-scale marble sculpture of the island of Manhattan, Little Manhattan (2007-2009) was recently on view on The High Line, New York. In 2014, Sone was commissioned by the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China to create Snow Leopard Garden, a major permanent installation composed of approximately one hundred tons of stones and live plants depicting a snow leopard. In 2013, a two-person exhibition of work done in collaboration by Sone and Benjamin Weissman was presented at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California. Sone’s work was the subject of two solo exhibitions in Tokyo: Perfect Moment at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery in 2011 and Snow at the Maison Hermès Le Forum in 2010. Baby Banana Tree, the artist’s 25-foot tall hand-painted sculpture, was installed in 2009 as a public artwork at the Boone Sculpture Garden at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.
Other venues which have hosted important solo exhibitions include Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London (2007); Kunsthalle Bern; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (all 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2003); and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan (2002). The artist represented Japan, along with Motohiko Odani, at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.
Sone has participated in a number of group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including Glasstress 2011, organized as part of the 54th Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti (2011). A version of the show traveled to the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2012). Other major group shows include the 12th Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach, Fellbach, Germany (2013); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004); 25th São Paulo Biennial; 13th Biennale of Sydney (both 2002); 7th Istanbul Biennial (2001); 48th Venice Biennale (1999); among others.
Work by the artist is held in international museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Kunsthalle Bern; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Image: Photo by Grant Delin