Natsuyuki Nakanishi

Natsuyuki Nakanishi

installation views by natsuyuki nakanishi

Natsuyuki Nakanishi

Installation Views, May 6, 2014–July 11, 2014

Price on Request

Tuesday, May 6, 2014Tuesday, July 1, 2014

514 W. 26th Street
New York, NY 10001 USA

Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to announce its inaugural show at its new location at 514 West 26 th Street. We are honored to present the first solo exh ibition in the United States of Natsuyuki Nakanishi, one of the most important artists working in the post - war period in Japan .

Nakanishi’s career as an artist spans over 50 years and h is investigations, which began wit h his series of Rhyme painting s in 1959, have consistently addressed philosophical and aesthetic issues pertaining to painting and performance . His analytical and experimental thinking have resulted in a radical reconfiguration of the terms of art - making.

Nakanishi was born in 1935 an d grew up in Tokyo, where he attended Tokyo National University of Arts and Music. He began his career as a painter and has consistently and persisten tly explored that medium . The textural quality of his early works, such as Map of Human , made up of paint, enamel, and sand, evoke a sense of the ancient , while at the same time suggest ing contemporary concepts of cell structure and DNA paths. Structural topological elements also make themselves felt in his Rhyme series from 1960 . Cast off elements from the everyday, such as string and cotton, or even shirts, make their way into these works, and are particular ly evident in Rhyme S’ , 1960. The materiality of such compositions are in keeping with developments in international art of the period, such as that of Robert Ryman and Piero Manzoni.

The use of banal objects from everyday life eventually gave way to Nakanishi’s Compact Objects . The egg - shape resin sculptures captured mundane objects — a sneaker, a broken wat ch, a mirror, ru sted gears — placing a kind of fossilized human detritus at the center of the work. These objects were an integral part of Yamanote Line Festival (1962), an early precursor to the actions of Hi Red Center. With Genpei Akasegawa and Jiro Takamatsu, Nakanish i staged numerous “ Happen ings” t hroughout Tokyo, such as Street Cleaning Event , 1964.

Nakanishi’s interest in theater and his involvement in set design and art direction for Bu toh dancers Tatsumi Hijikata and Ushio Amagatsu , further affected his thinking, influencing h is installation of his paintings. In his most recent painting , he use s easels to display his work , allowing for an exploration of the relationship between the paintings and their surroundings , which become much like actors on stage . The exper iential aspect of these works is felt not only in the physical process of walking around the works , the experience of which changes from space to space, but also in the perception of color. Using primarily white and purple on raw linen canvas, Nakanishi create s a lyric al and sensual landscape of their own. The creation of these works also happens sequentially , one painting leading into the next by shifting the ground , so that positive becomes negative. This sense of time and of interaction is central to the contemplative philosophical underpinning of the work.

Nakanishi has exhibited extensively and his m useum s olo exhibitions include : Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (1985), Seibu Museum (1989), Ai chi Prefectural Museum of Art (1995/ 2002 - 03), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (1997), Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art (2004 /2012 ), and The Shoto Museum of Art (2008). His works were also included in numerous notable group exhibitions , including Japane se Art After 1945: Scream against the Sky , Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Soho, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1994); and Tokyo 1955 - 1970 , The Museum of Modern Art , New York (2013).