Magazine article Artforum International

Maki Na Kamura: Jiri Svestka Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Maki Na Kamura: Jiri Svestka Gallery

Article excerpt

The longer you look at Maki Na Kamura's paintings, the better they become--but also the more puzzling and even alienating. This is because the works are always somewhere in between: between dream and reality; memory and future; gravity and lightness; exuberance and timidity; but above all between Western painting and that of Asia, distinct painterly traditions that these pieces synthesize with a naturalness and facility that do not disguise the work's enigmatic quality.

Na Kamura was horn in Osaka, as she tells it, in the Year of the Dog. She studied painting in Japan and at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf and today lives there and in Berlin. In Prague, she showed paintings made between 2001 and 2008 in a wide range of formats. Her large horizontal canvases recall East Asian landscape scrolls. She makes oil paint daubed translucently on plaster-white undercoats look like colorful ink painting, although the medium is applied with a vehemence that recalls European expressionism. Greens and blues, the hues of nature, but also reds and purples and black, the color of darkness and night, dominate. What is astonishing in Na Kamura's paintings is the figuration of space. It invites immersion and lingering: With each viewing, new depths emerge; there is no fixed viewpoint. This construction of space is achieved through principles of traditional Chinese painting, which refuse any central perspective, favoring a construction of numerous planes that can be grasped from different vantage points.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This method is most evident in the horizontal canvas PLM XIV, 2008. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.