Ryo Hirano “Emerging from the Void”

Masahiro Maki Gallery

poster for Ryo Hirano “Emerging from the Void”
[Image: Ryo Hirano, "Two Women" pencil and watercolor on paper, 40.0x32.0 cm]

This event has ended.

“Emerging from the Void” brings together for the first time since 2000 an intimate selection of twenty works on canvas and paper executed between the 1970s and 1990, representing Hirano’s concise and mature approach to abstraction. Born in 1927 in Oita, Ryo Hirano was a self-taught Japanese artist who entered the art scene in the late 1950s and continued to produce work until his death in 1992. Little-known outside his home country, his body of work consists of drawings and paintings on the themes of the human figure and landscape, depicted in an expressive abstract style. During his lifetime, Hirano distanced himself from the capital, working in the suburbs of Kitakyushu in the western part of Japan. As if responding to the chaos of the postwar era, void and darkness lie at the inception of Hirano’s work.

While deeply rooted in the psychological landscape of postwar Japanese society, Hirano’s work evolved in ebb and flow with the wider context of twentieth-century figurative art, with the influence of Alberto Giacometti, in particular, becoming evident in the early 1970s. Hirano’s expressive brushstrokes reflect the artist’s persistent fascination with humanity, its anxieties and alienation, revealing the often-overlooked diversity of painterly expression within Japanese postwar art history.



from January 19, 2019 to February 23, 2019


Ryo Hirano



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