Toyoyuki Tsuchiya Memorial information

Remembering Toyo Tsuchiya On November 23rd, 2017 artist and photographer Toyo Tsuchiya prematurely passed away in his Lower East Side apartment. He was 69.

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A sensitive and curious observer of life, Tsuchiya definitely shaped New York’s art world as a devout and poetic chronicler of an underground art scene of which he was a vital part. Tsuchiya was one among several co-founders of the enigmatic Rivington School – a collective of artists formed in the early 80s whose most famous works were the “Sculpture Gardens” – immense and fantastic constructions of welded scrap metal and other found materials that filled a succession of empty lots on the Lower East Side, all long since bulldozed down. The School, an off-spring of the better known No Se No Social Club, was also a gallery and performance space. Tsuchiya caught on camera the venue’s many shows and happenings – including the hunting beauty of the various Sculpture Gardens – with charged, in-the-thick-of-things immediacy. He meanwhile also chronicled the fringe activity taking place in the working class, largely Hispanic neighborhood that served as backdrop, capturing the unique synergy between such contrasting worlds.

Tramadol Ordering Online A friendly but reserved man, Tsuchiya wrote about himself in 1992: “I left Japan with a three-month VISA in May 1980. I have since spent twelve winters in New York City. I lived in 17 places around Lower Manhattan, I have never been mugged, but my apartment was robbed three times and I lost seven cameras. Everything then was new to me, I was like a child. From this time I began exhibiting my work and had four one-man shows between ’83 and ’85. Those years were very important in the development of the East Village art scene. In 1985, I moved into the No Se No Social Club, and I started directing gallery shows for the Rivington School and documenting their activity: With Ray Kelly and other artists friends, the No Se No/Rivington School Sculpture Garden project began in the empty lot next door, and a junk monument of welded urban garbage rose up. I found my place in a situation where I could use my photographs and bring out something new. I believe No Se No Social Club/Rivington School movement were the bottom line of the New York art world in the 1980’s.” In 2016 Tsuchiya published an impressive and engaging book titled Rivington School: 80s New York Underground crammed with vibrant photos and posters, newspaper cuttings and hand drawn flyers duly archived by Tsuchiya himself. “My camera was like another eye or another arm, I carried it all the time, like an identification, and documented what I saw. [From 1982 to ’85,] I spent my nights taking pictures of performances, and my connection with performance photography crystallized. I shot my photographs from within the subject, not as an outsider,” wrote the artist. In more recent years he returned to visual arts with powerful drawings of larger-than-life people, masterly executed in vibrant graphite lines that reveal his profound sensitivity to the human condition.

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With his customary precision, Tsuchiya taught himself to sculpt last year, creating a singular work that, in the light of his untimely demise, can almost be interpreted as his magnum opus: a compelling installation of seven life-size figures of immigrant workers having their lunch on a sidewalk, a reproduction of the subjects of a photograph he took in Chinatown thirty years ago.

Toyo Tsuchiya: Invisible Underground, a tribute to New York and the Lower East Side, was his last exhibition – accompanying a book of the same name – held last December at Howl! Happening in the East Village.

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