Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our fifth solo exhibition “Ouroboros” with Naoto Kawahara. Around five new paintings will be shown in this exhibition.
In 2005 Taka Ishii Gallery hosted Kawahara’s “NU” exhibition. Kawahara then participated in the group exhibition “Attention to Detail” (The FLAG Art Foundation, New York) curated by Chuck Close in 2008. Kawahara will also participate in the group exhibition “Diana und Aktaion: Der Verbotene Blick auf die Nacktheit” (Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf) this October. He has been active internationally and his works have attracted increasing attention in recent years.
“This time, I worked as though painting an unorthodox Vanitas while thinking about the ominous atmosphere in daily life and the compelling instinct that enables us to constantly forget and paralyze it. Although my expression is realistic, rather than depicting the subject itself, I hope to express it like an image emerging in the mind.”
In this solo show entitled “Ouroboros” (referring to a serpent that formed a circle by swallowing its own tail, and a symbol of Ancient Greece), Kawahara quotes the works of Munch, an artist whom he feels “paradoxically depicts images of death, whilst also expressing life through themes such as sexuality and puberty.” In this exhibition he reexamines these paintings, which are infused with both energy and despair.
Kawahara has produced distinctive realist paintings that precisely reproduce photographs of people and landscapes drawn from his surroundings or scenes from films. In recent years, he has been creating paintings that reinterpret scenes extracted from classic masterpieces by artists such as Dürer, Balthus and Rembrandt. Through such “re-envisioned paintings”, Kawahara pursues the theme of “creating a sense of déjà vu through the repetitive use of old masters’ themes, while reflecting on archetypes of images valid today,” and presents this theme in his exhibition.