estimated retail value: $90,000
Using primarily white and purple, Nakanishi creates vibrating visual fields of line and shape that hint at real space while never depicting it. Austere, yet full of warmth, these works offer a meditative visual experience for the viewer.
In a dynamic career that spans over 50 years, Natsuyuki Nakanishi’s work has encompassed sculpture, painting, and happenings. Along with Jiro Takamatsu and Genpei Akasegawa, he formed Hi Red Center, a collective that staged numerous happenings and performances throughout Tokyo in 1963-4. Later, Nakanishi developed an interest in theater and became involved in set design and art direction for Butoh dancers. This involvement in theater influenced the creation and display of his paintings, some of which are displayed on easels. His recent series of abstract paintings take on the subject of perception and space. Using primarily white and purple, Nakanishi creates vibrating visual fields of line and shape that hint at real space while never depicting it. Austere, yet full of warmth, these works offer a meditative visual experience for the viewer. Solo exhibitions of Nakanishi’s work have been held at Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Seibu Museum, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, and The Shoto Museum of Art. His works have been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as Japanese Art After 1945: Scream against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim SoHo, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Tokyo 1955-1970, MoMA, New York.
gallery websites: www.fergusmccaffrey.com, gallery21yo-j.com
Image rights: courtesy of the artist, fergus mccaffrey, new york; and gallery 21yo-j, toyko
About Natsuyuki Nakanishi
A major figure in the 1960s Japanese avant-garde, Natsuyuki Nakanishi began his career deploying Neo-Dadaist concepts in performances and object-based works, before turning to abstract painting. In 1963 Nakanishi co-founded the Hi-Red Center, an avant-garde installation and performance group concerned with exploring human interactions and issues of mass consumption, with the artists Jiro Takamatsu and Genpei Akasegawa. Nakanishi’s Compact Object (1960) is an egg form composed of resin fused with some of the detritus of a consumerist society—watches, clock parts, eggshells, and lenses. More recently the artist has produced large-scale paintings composed of organic-looking forms that resemble cellular activity in a palette of greens, blues, and whites, arranged in loose ring formations.