Hiroshi Sugito, ‘Untitled’, 2004, Phillips

Property from an Important Private European Collection
From the Catalogue:
Untitled 2004, combines Yoshitomo Nara’s iconic portraiture with the eerie style of Hiroshi Sugito’s magical landscapes. The girl’s penetrating gaze is instantly arresting, an effect emphasised by the scale of her depiction. She fills the entire canvas and appears to reach beyond its confines to inhabit the realm of the viewer. This sense of immediacy is made more striking by the painting’s colourful rendering, establishing a bright aesthetic palette which serves to highlight and convey the minimalism of the girl’s features. The artists first met in 1986, when Sugito was a student under Nara, and both explored similar thematic concerns around childhood, solitude and the confluence of East and West. This work is part of the Over the Rainbow series which the two artists developed during a three month residency in Vienna, Austria, collaborating on a published book and hosting a joint exhibition. The project takes the magical land of the Wizard of Oz as its point of departure, an influence which can be noted, for example, in the Dorothy-inspired ginger braids of the girl in Untitled. This is a key piece in the collaboration between Sugito and Nara and thus stands as a testament to the prolific and stimulating meeting of these significant creative minds.
Courtesy of Phillips

Munich, Pinakothek der Moderne, Yoshimoto Nara & Hiroshi Sugito: Over the Rainbow, 11 November 2004 - 13 February 2005, exh. cat., p. 33 (illustrated)
Düsseldorf, K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Yoshimoto Nara & Hiroshi Sugito: Over the Rainbow, 12 March - 29 May 2005

Bijutsu Shuppan Sha, Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works Volume 1 - Paintings, Sculptures, Editions, Photographs, Tokyo, Japan, 2011, p. PC-2004-003, p. 221 (illustrated)

Galerie Zink & Gegner, Munich
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Hiroshi Sugito

Hiroshi Sugito’s compositions are comprised of both abstract and concrete recurring motifs, often stylized beyond immediate recognition. For example, his paintings feature mountaintops, waves, blossoms, birds, military airplanes, missiles, fire, windows, and especially curtains; these are not used to convey conventional narrative, but rather as pictorial elements. In other works, Sugito creates alternate visualizations, for example, of sounds or nature. Sugito’s work is also known for its use of translucent layers—an effect he achieves by layering acrylic paint and dry pigment—lack of linear perspective, and generous use of empty space. Though he is deeply affected by traditions of western painting, Sugito is strongly influenced by his training in traditional Japanese painting techniques. More recently, the artist has begun to experiment with three-dimensional media.

Japanese, b. 1970

About Yoshitomo Nara

Influenced by elements of popular culture such as anime, manga, Walt Disney cartoons, and punk rock, Yoshitomo Nara creates paintings, sculptures, and drawings of adorable-yet-sinister childlike characters. Painted with simple bold lines, primary colors, and set against empty backgrounds, these small children and animals often share the canvas with text, knives, plants, and cardboard boxes, among other recurring elements. As one of the fathers and central figures of the Japanese neo-Pop movement, Nara’s work expresses the struggle to find an identity fractured by war, rapid modernization, and an omnipresent visual culture. Nara’s sculptures, made primarily from fiberglass, and his drawings on postcards, envelopes, and scraps of paper, further this exploration using the same elegance of line and simple palette as his paintings.

Japanese, b. 1959, Hirosaki, Japan

Group Shows

10H TS
New York,
Contemporary Magic
Infinite Diversity
Masters Projects, 
Stare Into The Rising Sun (Editions by Contemporary Asian Art Stars)
New York ,
LittleCollector at NADA New York 2014
KUNST+PROJEKTE Sindelfingen, 
Sindelfingen, Germany,
1 Site 2 Places II
View Artist's CV