Group Exhibition “Fukei-Ga (Landscape Painting)”

Dates: Mar 23 – Apr 27, 2024
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery (complex665)
Participating artists: Lucas Arruda, Zenzaburo Kojima, Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato
Opening reception: Saturday, Mar 23, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition “Fukei-Ga (Landscape Painting)” from March 23 to April 27. The show will feature approximately ten works depicting landscapes, by the artists Lucas Arruda, Zenzaburo Kojima, and Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato.

We are surrounded with things which we have not made and which have a life and structure different from our own: trees, flowers, grasses, rivers, hills, clouds. For centuries they have inspired us with curiosity and awe. They have been objects of delight. We have recreated them in our imaginations to reflect our moods. And we have come to think of them as contributing to an idea which we have called nature.

Kenneth Clark, Landscape into Art (John Murray Publishers Ltd., 1949)

Landscape painting was established as a distinct genre in the 17th century, and its development offers a window into changing views of nature held by painters, and people more broadly, over time. Arruda works in the context of landscape, a well-defined art-historical concept, but his works based on remembered images can be seen as manifestations of internal imagery and the ethereal. Meanwhile, for Kojima, landscape painting seems to have been a means of immortalizing beloved Japanese scenery and the transient beauty of daily life by transforming them into timeless art. His fluid and vibrant depictions of trees and clouds, in what came to be called the “Kojima style,” convey his commitment to depicting Japan’s terrain and climate with quintessentially Japanese techniques. Lorenzato’s landscape paintings present a unique perspective on his immediate surroundings, day-to-day life, and urban environment. The fruit of meticulous observation of the everyday, Lorenzato’s paintings are intimately tied to his personal experiences.

Lucas Arruda was born in 1983 in São Paulo, Brazil, where he lives and works. He earned an MFA from Faculdade Santa Marcelina in 2009. Arruda is renowned for works that fluctuate between abstraction and figuration, and between imagination and reality, often focusing on subjects such as seascapes and jungles. The title of his series “Deserto-Modelo,” quoted from the Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto, is “a metaphor for the desert as a timeless place beyond the grasp of language.” Arruda’s nuanced approach to light and his delicate touch beckon viewers into a state of meditative reflection, evoking experiential memories and mental states. His major solo exhibitions include “Assum Preto” at Fondazione Sandretto Rebaudengo Madrid (2023); “Lugar sem lugar“ at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2022); “Lucas Arruda “ at Pond Society, Shanghai (2020), and “Deserto-Modelo” at Fridericianum, Kassel (2019). His works are in the collections of institutions including the Tate Modern (London), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Fondation Beyeler (Riehen), and the Centre Pompidou (Paris).

Zenzaburo Kojima (1893-1962) was born in Fukuoka City, and attended Fukuoka Prefectural Shuyukan High School before enrolling in the Pharmacy Department at Nagasaki School of Medicine (now Nagasaki University). In 1913, his strong aspiration to become a painter led him to withdraw from school and move to Tokyo. He studied from 1925 to 1928 in France, where he dedicated himself to mastering volumetric expression of the human figure and other techniques. Several years after his return to Japan in 1928, driven by his belief in the need for “Japanese paintings for Japanese people,” he co-founded the Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyokai (Independent Art Association) with Katsuzo Satomi, Takeshi Hayashi and others with the goal of establishing “Japanese-style oil painting.” After moving to Kokubunji, Tokyo in 1936, Kojima primarily concentrated on landscape, and passionately depicted the scenery of Atami and Hakone in his later years. Recent solo exhibitions include “The 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Kojima Zenzaburo” at Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art (2023), “Den’en no kagayaki (Luminous Countryside)” at Fuchu Art Museum (2007), and “Kojima Zenzaburo: Creator of the Japanese Oil Painting at Shoto Museum of Art (1998).

Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (1900-1995) was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and spent two decades in Europe from 1920 to 1940 before returning to Brazil in 1948. After retiring in his fifties, he devoted his life exclusively to his art. Lorenzato’s distinctive painting techniques, which entailed the use of handmade pigments and combs, give his works their inimitable textures. His subjects were largely drawn from scenery and day-to-day life in Belo Horizonte, and he produced thousands of paintings over the course of his long life. While recognition of Lorenzato’s work was long limited to local circles, the past two decades have seen a reappraisal of his contributions, cementing his status as an important figure in Brazilian Modernism. Major solo exhibitions include “Mínimo, múltiplo, comum” at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2018) and a retrospective at the Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Belo Horizonte, 1995).

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