Naoto Kawahara

Naoto Kawahara

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, Dusseldorf) 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.”

Naoto Kawahara

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 Durer,
Balthus and Rembrandt. Through such “re-envisioned paintings”, Kawahara
pursues the theme of “creating a sense of deja vu through the repetitive
use of old masters’ themes, while reflecting on archetypes of images valid
today,” and presents this theme in his exhibition.

Taka Ishii Gallery

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