The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, August 18, 2022

Exhibition highlights representative works from the six decades long career of New York based Rakuko Naito
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Alison Bradley Projects is presenting Rakuko Naito, curated by Gabriela Rangel.

The exhibition highlights representative works from the six decades long career of New York based Rakuko Naito (b. Tokyo, 1935) and is the first major gallery survey of the artist, showcasing early monochromatic paintings, a tinted photo-collage, and more recent paper and mesh cage sculptural works. Selected by Rangel, an independent curator and writer, the works on view aim to shed light on the artist’s unique practice, drawing on her early studies and utilization of traditional Japanese painting techniques to challenge pictorial flatness in conversation with the art of her time and in a truly New York practice of experimentation.

Rakuko Naito focuses on the artist’s lifelong engagement privileging poetic decisions over art historical labels such as Op art, hard-edge, minimalism and geometric abstraction, decisions which kept her exploring different avenues of abstraction in her own terms.

Trained in nihonga, literally translated as Japanese painting style (nihon meaning Japan and ga meaning painting in Japanese) and different to the Western-style oil painting (yõga), Rakuko Naito arrived in New York along with Tadaaki Kuwayama, her husband and fellow artist, at the end of the 1950s. She was in her early twenties at the time and became fully immersed in the creativity, and society, of artists in New York.

In the early 1960s, influenced by the rave of Abstract Expressionism and the emergence of Pop Art, Naito distanced herself from the constraints of her traditional education. The artist started to use acrylic paint, an “American material” that she was introduced to by her friend and fellow abstract painter Sam Francis and began to use it on canvas while questioning flatness: Japanese art is flat, so my main concern was to challenge flatness. She worked on a series of monochromatic paintings on which she outlined geometric shapes resulting in spatial demarcations and, in another series of the same period, created variations of geometric regularity to produce vibrations through the moiré effect. These works manifest her desire to break with, or at least to defy, the sensation of flatness.

In the 1970s, Naito’s practise moved away from abstract painting to representational works, often large scale, of nature and mostly of flowers. In defiance of the wave of conceptualism in New York, a tendency that privileged the dematerialization of the art object in favor of an idea, she worked on her own terms and chose subjects she favored to contemplate. In 1978 she had a solo exhibition, Monumental Flower Paintings, at the then Charleston Art Gallery of Sunrise (now the Juliet Art Museum) and curated by Jay Frederick Cain.

From the early 1990s, Naito left her painting practice and began to work with photography, collage and sculptural works. At this time Naito developed a series of black and white photo-collages with dye tint representing floral motifs, stones, water, wood, and sky close ups composed as diptychs. Concurrently she began to produce sculptural mesh cages, resonant of the geometric shapes of her paintings created in the 1960s. Within these cages are paper-made structures that counterbalance the rigidity of the metal, infusing her unique sense of tension of space and material, lightness and weight.

For the past three decades, Naito has dedicated her artistic work to research into the malleability and strength of kozo and mino washi, traditional Japanese papers, manifest as an on-going series of organic compositions that she tears, folds, burns or rolls inside a thin box. The artist's “paper reliefs” seem clear and precise, yet possess a subtle feature of disarray to their patterns, resulting in a commotion to an otherwise systematically serial composition. These works reflect her interest in geometry, architecture and the natural forms and textures of the material creating a reality which she views as transcending the limits of painting and drawing.

Rakuko Naito currently works and resides in New York City with her husband Tadaaki Kuwayama.

Today's News

November 14, 2021

The show goes on, even after China tried to shut it down

A new exhibition reunites paintings and drawings by Peter Paul Rubens with the antiquities that inspired him

MOCA Toronto's online platform Shift Key launches new film and video offerings for 2021/22

Gladstone Gallery opens an exhibition of seven new landscape paintings Alex Katz

Gilcrease works on view across the country during museum's reconstruction

Lisson Gallery announces representation of Cheyney Thompson

Four months, 5,000 miles: A refugee puppet looks for home

Prada opens an exhibition by Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg,

Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of the Moody Blues, dies at 80

Bettina Grossman, an artistic fixture at the Chelsea Hotel, dies at 94

The Centro Botín presents Itinerarios XXVI, a new engagement with the present state of contemporary art

Cornelius Annor's debut solo exhibition in the United States opens at Venus Over Manhattan

Saving the forgotten Connecticut farm that helped spark MLK's dream

Brazil's Instituto Inhotim to house the Museu de Arte Negra (Museum of Black Art)

Theater professors are under the gun in 'Preparedness'

Deep underground, a Chinese miner discovered poetry in the toil

A frenzy of book banning

Exhibition highlights representative works from the six decades long career of New York based Rakuko Naito

Pristine Lincoln ferrotypes from private collection featured in Heritage Auctions Americana & Political event

18th-century Tipu Sultan Throne Finial worth £1.5 million at risk of leaving UK

Pieces from prominent Texas estates sparkle and shine at Heritage Auctions' holiday jewelry event

Legendary novelist Wilbur Smith dies aged 88: publisher

'Be nice to tourists': New York's arts scene needs international visitors

A Bank of England Newcastle on Tyne £5 note to be sold by Dix Noonan Webb

The Ultimate Guide to the fall 2021 Fashion Trends

Seven Shopping Tips to Buy During the Sale Season in a Smart Way!


Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful