From December 17, 2015 to February 6, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Space Parts, the gallery's first solo exhibition of Paris-based Mari Minato's work. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, December 17, from 6pm to 8pm.
Space Parts consists of Minato’s site-specific painting installation as well as her recent works on paper. Minato’s work, characterized by just a few simple marks, lines, or shapes, involves extended surfaces and the surrounding space. In the site-specific work, she applies her brushstrokes directly on various architectural elements (i.e. a wall, a door, a window). In the smaller works, she employs multiple panels, often arranged unevenly. This unique format of simultaneously split and continuous surfaces resembles the pages of her sketchbooks, wherein she records her impressions of indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations; i.e. Gallic, Gallo-Roman, etc.
Though seemingly impulsive, Minato’s creative process begins long before she picks up a brush. When she visits historic sites, Minato pays particular attention to the relationship between the environment and the traces left by its occupants over the centuries. She finds inspiration in museum artifacts, architectural details, and elements of the landscape, recording all these in her sketchbook. This intense dialogue with actual objects and places informs her creative response to the complexity of different cultures or environments. The result is refreshingly evocative abstractions with revealing figurative elements that tap into deep human sensitivity. Her works on paper, though detached from the source environments, re-captures the energy rooted in the original culture. In addition, Minato’s work is intentionally fragmented, inviting the viewer to imagine the rest.
Minato’s own aesthetic upbringing stems from diverse backgrounds. The gestural and yet restrained brushstrokes trace back to her study of traditional Japanese painting. It is characterized by the application of a fluid and sensual line drawn on a surface intentionally left white. The acrylic medium and the dominant abstract form of her work are the result of her training as a contemporary artist. All in all, these works defy description as either painting or drawing, occidental or oriental, object or environment.