Natsuyuki Nakanishi

Natsuyuki Nakanishi was born in 1935 in Toyko. He grew up there and attended Tokyo National University of Arts and Music, where he obtained a BFA in oil painting in 1958. Nakanishi’s career as an artist began in earnest in 1959 with a highly acclaimed series of paintings entitled Rhyme and he has continued his work as a painter to the present day.  In addition, Nakanishi was a founding member (with Jiro Takamatsu and Genpei Akasegawa) of the experimental group Hi Red Center, which was active from 1962-64. In 1965 he began collaborating with the Butoh dancers Tatsumi Hijikata and Kauo Ono, which would be very influential on his thinking and his practice.

In his artistic investigations, Nakanishi has consistently confronted existential questions relating to the role of the artist and his relationship to art-making. While deconstructing formal elements and recomposing them into abstract motifs in his paintings, Nakanishi also takes extensive notes and makes diagrams related to the works, in order to guide himself through his own process. When reading his writing it often seems as if Nakanishi is observing his work from a distance. Surreal ideas related to the work are also expressed—in his notes he describes his works almost as if they come into being of their own volition. For Nakanishi painting occupies a special realm, and as an artist he wanders through this realm, functioning as a sort of mediator between the work and the viewer.

Nakanishi has had solo exhibitions at numerous museums, including: Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (1985), Seibu Museum (1989), Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (1995/2002-03), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (1997), Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art (2004/2012), The Shoto Museum of Art (2008). His works have also been shown in notable group exhibitions such as, Japanese Art After 1945: Scream against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Soho, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1994); and Tokyo, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013).

Nakanishi died in 2016.

Selected Artworks

October 13, 2017

FIAC 2017: Top galleries in “Avenue Winston Churchill, On Site”

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FIAC 2017, the International Art Fair exhibiting the best Contemporary Art galleries of the world, awaits its grand opening on October 19 in Paris. This year FIAC will have two sub-sections, Avenue Winston Churchill and Petit Palais, showcasing outdoor works featuring seminal works by the most prominent galleries all over the world. These two sub-sections fall in FIAC’s new sub division of “On Site” that was introduced last year. Read More
September 5, 2017

Marcia Hafif: Upcoming Museum Shows in Switzerland

Opening at Kunsthaus Baselland: Thursday 14th September, 6:30 PM

The MARCIA HAFIF exhibition is created in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (MARCIA HAFIF: September 16-January 14, 2018) and the Kunsthaus Baselland in Muttenz (MARCIA HAFIF: September 15–November 12, 2017).
Hafif (b.1929, USA, living in New York and Laguna Beach) is among the pioneers of the 1970s who fundamentally broadened con­ceptions of the practice of painting and under­standing of art per se. Since the 1980s, terms like ‘radical’ have been used to describe Hafif’s work with monochrome painting. The pencil on paper drawings, vertical pencil marks cover­ ing a surface, begun in 1972, led to the ver­tical stroke in paint. Her work in both mediums still continues, fitting within what she calls The Inventory. Each series included in The Inventory develops a single medium using tra­ditional methods and materials for making paint and preparing a ground. Individual works in a series can be larger or smaller, and usually are made with vertical brush­strokes, with which the effects of unmixed colours on a suit­able painting ground are sounded out. Works from the series that may be her most radical will be exhibited at the Kunsthaus Baselland: the Black Paintings (1979/80) in which she found black by layering ultramarine blue and burnt umber. There will also be photographs and films on display.
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