The technique of frottage has been used to “reproduce” an original drawing by Josef Albers. Charcoal rubbings are generally produced from surfaces featuring relief markings (plaques or gravestones most notably) and are often made as a gesture of reverence and remembrance. The drawing by Josef Albers used for this piece possessed very little in the way of relief texture and was transposed into a dark rectangle, eradicating any sense of the original image. The nuances seen in the charcoal are mostly a result of Sasaki’s hand rather than Albers’s; the line between homage and obliteration becomes blurred.
Jon Sasaki is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice brings performance, video, object, and installation into a framework in which expectation and outcome never align, generating simultaneous senses of pathos and levity. He employs reason-based approaches reminiscent of conceptual art as he investigates romantic subjects; in this juxtaposition, he creates humorous, self-exhausting systems caught in cycles of trial and error.
He has had solo exhibitions at the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and a 2015 performance project at MOCAD (Detroit). His work has been in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Platform Art Spaces (Melbourne), and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto). He recently completed public-art commissions for Sheridan College (Oakville, ON) and the City of Barrie, Ontario. Along with collaborator Jennifer Davis, he received the 2017 Concepts award from the Ontario Association of Architects for a forthcoming commission. He was the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize (Dufftown, Scotland). He holds a BFA from Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB).