Naoto Nakagawa, ‘Two Roses XI’, 2005, Japan Society Benefit Auction 2017

Courtesy of Jack and Susy Wadsworth

Born in Kobe, Japan, Naoto Nakagawa was raised within the artistic milieu of his grandfather, acclaimed nihonga artist Kagaku Murakami (1888-1939), and moved to New York City in 1962. During his early years in New York he attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School and became interested in metaphysics and philosophy through fellow artists On Kawara (1932–2014) and Shūsaku Arakawa (1936–2010). Throughout his career, Nakagawa has explored human existence and its relationship with nature by employing both western and Japanese material when painting and drawing. Two Roses XI is part of an ongoing series of drawings of roses in sumi-e, a practice that recalls Zen styles of meditation through drawing. In these drawings, the artist grapples with the awareness of his existence, proposing “I see, therefore I am.” He was featured in the 1987 Japan Society exhibition Contemporary Japanese Art in America (I): Arita-Nakagawa-Sugimoto, along with Akira Arita and Hiroshi Sugimoto. His work is included in many public and private collections in the U.S., Europe and Japan, including the Museum of Modern Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Worcester Museum, and The National Museums of Modern Art in Osaka and in Kyoto.
Courtesy of Japan Society

Signature: verso, on mount paper

About Naoto Nakagawa