From the Catalogue:
Born in Japan, Ikemura moved to Europe as a student. After spending time in Spain and Switzerland, she eventually settled in Germany in 1985 where she continues to live and work, dividing her time between Cologne and Berlin. In 1991, she was appointed professor of painting at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Over the last 30 years, Ikemura has created an substantial body of work, which crosses the disciplines of painting, sculpture, and works on paper. Painting came first. Her early canvasses from the 1980s deal with the themes of dreams, struggle and conflict. In 1987 she began experimenting with sculpture. And in the early 1990s abstract interpretations of the female form emerged as the primary theme within her work.
Image rights: Courtesy Leiko Ikemura
About Leiko Ikemura
Painter, draughtswoman, sculptor, and photographer Leiko Ikemura depicts confrontations between an obscure female subject and mystical landscapes. After spending the first half of her 30-year career studying the expressive possibilities of oil and watercolors in semi-abstract portraits and landscapes, she turned to sculpture in 1984. Mixing eastern and western sculptural traditions, Ikemura worked with bronze, terracotta, and clay to form varied biomorphic forms and fragments of female figures. The turn to semi-figurative sculpture affected the rest of her oeuvre, as these nameless and obscure female figures entered her work, beginning to populate her paintings and photographs. The figures often merge with her landscapes, creating indistinct abstract forms and swathes of color in a return to the expressiveness of her early work. Ikemura uses her intensely formal practice to address questions of gender, war, and religion.
Japanese-Swiss, b. 1951, Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan, based in Cologne & Berlin