Natsuyuki Nakanishi "Behind, Circle"
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Natsuyuki Nakanishi was born in Tokyo in 1935. After graduating from the department of oil painting at Tokyo University of the Arts, he formed the avant-garde art group High Red Center in 1963 along with Jiro Takamatsu and Genpei Akasegawa, indubitably one of the leading pioneers in postwar Japanese avant-garde art. From the 1960s onwards Nakanishi began focusing on the work of "painting," continuing to cultivate a unique style as one of Japan's representative contemporary artists. His installation for the Yokohama Triennale 2008 offered a fresh and inspiring shock to viewers.
This exhibition focuses on recent large-scale paintings with a strong, vivid sense of presence. All the pieces on display, including smaller works, are being exhibited for the first time, offering audiences an opportunity to reassess Nakanishi's artistic trajectory in the time spanning his last solo exhibition at this gallery five years ago up until his most recent works.
Nakanishi's abstract paintings are intensely analytical works based on the tense relationship between real physical space and the space of his paintings. Daily meditations that progress from one day to the next are reflected on these canvases. When laid out and arranged next to each other, mutual linkages gradually emerge, giving rise to a sort of interconnected chain effect across the different canvases.
In the group of works on display at this exhibition, what is particularly striking is the way in which the circular patterns on the picture surface seem to alternately disappear and reappear, offering insight into the shifts and changes in Nakanishi's own thoughts, and making the title "Behind, Circle" resonate with special impact.
From 2009-04-17 To 2009-06-06
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Dissecting the cave on canvas
By Marius Gombrich
Special to The Japan Times
"The real world is like Plato's parable of the cave. It's like we see things with a little light from outside or a very little light from a candle inside the cave: In other words, we see shadows and not the real world of ideas," Nakanishi says. ''Now this cave is like a cylinder and when you cut that in half, you create a flat surface. That is what the canvas is.''