in Maebashi-shi, Gunma / Japan
29.06.2024 - 04.08.2024 00:00
Shinpei Kusanagi - Where Whales Approach the Shore and Tigers Lurk in the Fields

Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi is pleased to present “Where Whales Approach the Shore and Tigers Lurk in the Fields,” a solo exhibition of the work of Shinpei Kusanagi. His first show at the gallery in three years, and his sixth to be held here, it features his latest paintings and works on paper.

“I shall tread through this path where whales approach the shore and tigers lurk in the fields. Even if I vanish like morning dew on the thickets, this is where I go”. (Keicho kenmonshu (II), 1614)

This excerpt from the Keicho kenmonshu conveys the artist’s spirit of venturing into unexplored realms, and his strong will to embrace the future. At the same time, it evokes distant times and places, reflecting the artist’s depictions of vast natural landscapes that are both wildly rugged and tranquil.

The series of works on paper, exhibited for the first time, is part of a body of work that Kusanagi continually created, in the manner of a diary, at a time when studio access was limited. His staining practice causes images to emerge subtly and elegantly on the paper, creating a delicate yet rustic atmosphere. The paintings, executed on raw canvas using a staining technique, build up numerous layers of rich, translucent color to convey deep spatiality. His recent works have developed his basic staining approach in the direction of abstraction, marked by dynamic, improvisational brushstrokes and a vibrant palette. This blend of refined color harmonies and dynamic compositions produce mysterious modalities, expanding the scope of Kusanagi’s new abstract exploration.

Shinpei Kusanagi was born in 1973 in Tokyo, where he lives and is works. His solo exhibitions include, “All things must pass,” Altman Siegel Gallery S/F, San Francisco (2022); “Something is happening which is not happening at all,” Altman Siegel Gallery S/F, online, San Francisco (2020) and “project N 45 KUSANAGI Shinpei,” Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (2011). Kusanagi’s work was featured in the group exhibition “MOT Collection: Walking, Traveling, Moving – From the Great Kanto Earthquake to the Present,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2023); “Glass Tableware in Still Life: Yoko Andersson and 18 painters,” Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima (2023), which traveled to Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery and Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto (2024); “MOT Satellite 2017 SPRING – by the deep rivers” Tokyo (2017) and “VOCA”, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2011). He has also provided images for numerous book covers. In 2013, Kyuryudo Art Publishing published “Kiyosumi kaiwai” (Kiyosumi and its Environs), a book of Kusanagi’s images and texts.

Gallery hours Wed-Sun 11 – 7 pm
closed on Monday, Tuesday and National Holidays

Exhibition Duration 29.06. – 04.08.2024


Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi
Maebashi Galleria 1F, 5-9-1 Chiyoda-machi
371-0022 Maebashi-shi, Gunma


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