Art Worth its Weight in Gold
In Four Quartets (2008), the artist turned to T.S Eliot’s “Four Quartets” poem in response to the trauma he experienced living two blocks from Ground Zero on September 11. This painting is remarkably different from his earlier works as a response to the darkness of Elliot’s poem.
Makoto Fujimura fuses traditional Nihonga painting with the techniques of Western abstraction. He has a particular affinity for using stone-ground minerals such as gold, platinum, malachite, azurite, and cinnabar. Fujimura believes that the minerals—particularly gold—allow for a fuller exploration of the interstice between the essential flatness of abstraction and the interior space of representation. “Gold is that paradox: it creates space (by being semi-transparent) and remains flat (by being mirror-like) at the same time,” he says. Fujimura’s deep religious faith attracts him to the metaphysical aspects of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting. In The Four Holy Gospels Project (2009), Fujimara was commissioned to illustrate the Four Holy Gospels in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.
Japanese American, b. 1960, Boston, Massachusetts, based in Princeton, NJ, United States