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Kunié Sugiura

Becoming Image

BY HG MASTERS

DEADEND STREET, 1978, photo emulsion and acrylic on canvas and wood, 94 x 290 cm.

Copyright Kunié Sugiura. Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York. 

In Kunié Sugiura’s Confucius Plaza (1977), a photographic image of a high-rise building silhouetted against the night sky is conjoined with a messily painted, dark-blue canvas. Two eminent modes of modern art-making—photography and abstract painting—are suspended in a strange equilibrium, each with their unique histories of capturing 20th-century life in New York. The associations reel off: we see Manhattan’s…

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