Exhibition Opening Friday, April 27th 5-7PM
Kiyoshi Nakagami’s powerful canvases burst with an elemental tension between light and darkness rendered in gold mica-enriched acrylic paint, which is dispersed through the use of gravity over an extraordinary, glowing surface.
Nakagami’s dramatically lit works appear to be intricate depictions of a vaporous night sky, at once radiant and brooding. Evocative of awe-inspiring environmental phenomena (a sun eclipsed by plumes of smoke, billowing forms reminiscent of moonlight streaming through the clouds on a dark night), Nakagami’s works are also tinged with a distinctly otherworldly quality. Golden light—emanating from an unseen source—is Nakagami’s true subject, and its glow illuminates the edges of dark, vaporous forms, creating a sense of suspension between fantasy and reality. That titles are not used by Nakagami reflects the ambiguity he infuses in his work. He seeks to create an atmosphere that is that is both ephemeral and sublime.
Nakagami begins his process by coating a canvas with acrylic paint and dusting mica-enriched gold pigment across the surface. He then moves and maneuvers the canvas, allowing gravity to affect the dispersion of pigment. Nakagami’s dependence on gravitational force eclipses his own artistic gesture, directing attention to the resultant work rather than the artist’s ego. This unconventional approach, and his use of traditional Japanese materials (gold), alludes both to nihonga as well as contemporary means of artmaking (acrylic paint). Devoid of brushwork or any other sign of the artist’s hand, Nakagami’s metaphysically charged canvases conjure an arresting atmosphere of meditative contemplation through a remarkable articulation of light.