Blum & Poe to expand into Asia

The Los Angeles art gallery Blum & Poe has announced that it is expanding its operations into the Asian market.
It has decided on the city of Tokyo as the best place in which to establish a permanent office, a decision that perhaps best reflects its enduring relationship with Japanese artists and the country itself.
The focus of this new base will be twofold. Alongside championing Asian artists on its books, the gallery will also be looking to promote their US programme in the county.
“I’ve got a personal connection to the country, we work with artists there and it feels like the right time to do this,” commented Tim Blum, co-founder of Blum & Poe.
Ashley Rawlings, a writer, editor and translator with a specialism in post-war and contemporary Japanese art – and former managing editor of ArtAsiaPacific – has been named as director of the new space.
The gallery is convinced that this is a major moment for Japanese art, citing two upcoming exhibitions in New York as examples of the increasing attention being directed towards works from this country.
This includes Tokyo 1950-70: a New Avant-Garde, which opens at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in November and Gutai: Splendid Playground, scheduled to open in February 2013.
Blum & Poe first came to attention in the late 90s, when it began showing the work of Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, both of whom have gone onto two of the most respected Japanese artists of their generation.
The gallery has also been showing an interest in Chinese artists. Reflective of this was a major exhibition in 2011 of a sculpture from Zhang Huan, an artist best known for his performance work.
Additionally, it recently held a show examining the work of Zhu Jinshi, notable for being the first solo presentation of the Beijing-based artist’s abstract works in the US.
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