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Ray Yoshida: The Spaces in Between

June 29, 2019 – June 14, 2020


“I’m concerned about the coexistence of disparate forms, the spaces in between: closeness, distances, isolation, attachment, detachment.”

Ray Yoshida reveals the unseen shapes and fragmented forms that anonymously hover within the more concrete objects of the everyday. Whether cutting out all the shirt sleeves from a comic book and arranging them into a collage or reknitting the individual components of a flower (stem, petal, leaves) into an elaborate watercolor grid, Yoshida’s work demonstrates the power and optical allure of a collection. This collagist sensibility also extended to his carefully curated home, where his extensive collection of folk art, tin toys, whirligigs, and masks was prominently on display.

Exploring the interconnectivity of a collection was central to Yoshida’s practice. Shapes that were otherwise isolated and inanimate developed a compelling aura when rearranged and grouped within one of his compositions. Throughout his work, abstract forms are elusive, yet recognizable. Yoshida wanted to create art that evoked questions rather than provided answers, urging the viewer to actively participate in deciphering his images. Is that a shoulder? A mountain? Maybe a head? His distinct, yet related forms, fuse into a synergistic whole—a composition that alludes to the interconnectivity of our lives and the odd, surreal world we inhabit.

Exhibitions in the Henry Street Gallery are generously funded through an endowment established by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.