Artist/City Initiative

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Bortolami announces the new edition of its Artist / City initiative to be held in downtown Las Vegas with New York–based Japanese painters Koichi Sato and Susumu Kamijo, and Los Angeles–based artist Jonas Wood. Expanding exhibition programming outside the gallery’s walls, the Artist / City initiative pairs artists with an unconventional space in an American city for a longer duration than a standard gallery exhibition, granting artists freedom to push the boundaries of their creative practices. On the occasion of this site-responsive exhibition in Las Vegas, the artists have each worked on a series of new paintings, which will occupy the vacant site of a former Greyhound bus terminal adjacent to the Plaza Hotel & Casino.


In the context of Las Vegas’ status as over-the-top icon of America, the three artists have created new works based on their individual experiences of “Americana,” responding to the project individually and collaboratively. Koichi Sato, a self-taught painter known for his vibrant and cartoon-like figures, worked on new portraits of individuals and groups of people representing a wide spectrum of characters and identities in American culture. Susumu Kamijo continued his signature explorations of animals’ physical and behavioral peculiarities, presenting heavily abstract canvases of poodles. The exhibition will be completed with never-before-seen works by internationally acclaimed artist Jonas Wood, including a large-scale landscape painting that will serve as a pictorial, boldly graphic background of the show. Visitors will enter the once-abandoned bus station and immerse themselves in a surreal, yet ordinary scenario imagined by the three artists, reminiscent of travelers waiting for their bus.


Stefania Bortolami, Founder of Bortolami Gallery, comments, “The Artist / City initiative reflects our interest in artistic experimentation outside the ordinary gallery setting. With the ever-changing and fast-paced art market that we navigate today, Artist / City aims for an additional paradigm in exhibition programming, offering site-responsive installations that broader audiences can experience over a longer period of time. We look forward to bringing the latest edition of the initiative to Las Vegas and showcasing Koichi, Susumu, and Jonas’s unique artistic perspectives on American culture.”


“The Plaza Hotel & Casino has always believed in the power of art in revitalizing communities,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “We were proud to transform our North Tower into a canvas for three 21-story murals and now, we are excited to welcome the next iteration of Bortolami’s Artist / City program. The public art exhibition at the former Greyhound bus station shows how the space can be a prime feature of our plans to transform Main Street into a vibrant and diverse destination in downtown Las Vegas.”


Bortolami Gallery has presented eight previous iterations of its Artist / City initiative since the launch in 2015 with a yearlong exhibition by French artist Daniel Buren in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Subsequent pairings placed Eric Wesley at an abandoned Taco Bell in St. Louis, Tom Burr at the Brutalist Marcel Breuer building in New Haven, Jutta Koether in a classic three-story “Trinity House” in Philadelphia, Barbara Kasten at the Mies van der Rohe designed Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Paul Pfeiffer at the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C, Ann Veronica Janssens at various cinemas and theaters in Baltimore, and Cecily Brown at a local High School in Buffalo.

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2022-11-18 to



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Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s Editor & Publisher.