Art: Please Touch

Sharp-edged as a sword, erect as a phallus, spare as a symbol, the sculptures of Japan's Masayuki Nagare make even the generous dimensions of Manhattan's Staempfli Gallery seem cramped. They soar through the ceiling, project invisible backdrops of misted mountains against an opaline sea. Within themselves, around themselves, they create their own space. At the age of 50, Nagare has become clearly one of the world's major sculptors.

Perhaps some of Nagare's authority comes from his close acquaintance with death as well as life.

At 20, he was a kamikaze pilot. Fortunately, World War II ended...

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