Tazuko Fujii / Oi Sawa: Recent Paintings and Drawings

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Quicksand Residence, 2004-08 Oil Paint And Photo On Canvas 57" X 44" 1/2"
Three Minutes Before Standing Up, 2005 Oil Paint On Tin 41" X 29" © Oi Sawa
untitled, 2008 Mixed Media Collage And Drawing On Paper © Tazuko Fujii
untitled, 2008 Oil Painting On Tin © Oi Sawa
Tazuko Fujii / Oi Sawa: Recent Paintings and Drawings
Curated by: Barbara Neski

548 West 28th St (6th Floor, Suite # 632)
10001 New York City
April 7th, 2009 - May 2nd, 2009
Opening: April 11th, 2009 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

(212) 414-4040
Tue-Sat 12-6
mixed-media, surrealism
free admission


Tazuko Fujii / OiSawa


Recent Paintings and Drawings

Dates April 7-May 2, 2009
Reception April 11, 2009 4-6 PM
Tazuko Fuji
Recent Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures

Viridian Artists is proud to present an exhibition of work by the accomplished Japanese artist Tazuko Fujii. The artist has been exhibiting her unique paintings and collages in Japan since 1955. This will be her eleventh New York exhibition in the past thirty years. Perhaps her own poetry describes her best:

I am flying in the air every time
like a tiny bird
yesterday, today and tomorrow
with my wings named Trial and Error
marking Point and Line…..and
never stop fluttering.

Ms. Fujii’s reflections on classical and modern literature, philosophy and religion inform her highly personal artistic vision, giving graceful physical form to abstract, intellectual concepts. Her art world is Fusion, Harmony, and a Combination of East and West. At first glance one might see what one calls Western abstract art, but with further scrutiny one finds fragments of traditional Japanese elements, such as calligraphy and brightly patterned “washi” or Japanese rice papers. Her poetic, evanescent images are fleeting moments that link subjective thought and objective objects--the void and plenitude--that which we so frequently call the yin and the yang. From the fluid surfaces of various layered materials, like tissue paper or netting, ethereal forms arise, dynamically probing memories and fantasies, expanding and quivering like gossamer veils of paper.

Tazuko Fujii’s art has often been linked to the notion of “Ma,” a concept that pervades all forms of Japanese cultural life. “Ma” is defined as the relation between space / time. It is not an empty spatial interval but rather a dynamic interrelationship. It is that which both separates and links things, not the object but the shadow. According to the late Japanese choreographer, Hideyuki Yano, ”Ma” is “a state of equilibrium that is felt as a golden mean. However, it is something that is always vanishing-- a sort of momentary improvisation.

Oi Sawa
Recent Paintings on Tin, and Drawings

Viridian Artists is proud to present the oil paintings on tin of Oi Sawa in her eleventh solo exhibition at the gallery. The artist’s distinctive approach has developed and deepened over time.

In Oi Sawa’s surrealistic universe nothing is what it appears to be. In these unusual and original works, etched surfaces of tin or zinc, are painted over in a palette of silvery grays, compacting a large amount of visual information into the limited space. Reminiscent of the purity of early Cubism, abstracted skyscrapers and mazes are juxtaposed with an Escher-like precision. Oi Sawa uses controlled geometric patterns to form a three dimensional puzzle. In a complex reexamination of space and reflective surface, the resultant painted panels echo the transparent overlapping planes as in a maze of mirrors. One can compare them to the architecture: as complex as a Gehry building, but as pure as one of Ando.

Although the paintings are subdued in color and style, close analysis reveals a subtle yet broad range of gray tonalities, sometimes touched with reds and golds. The reflections of flames in a metal stovepipe in the artist’s studio are perhaps the original inspiration for the use of tin surfaces in the paintings. For despite its precision, Oi Sawa’s personal conception of space and the universe does not exclude passion. The vibrant colors highlight and recall the organic world that at first glance seems absent from this futurist dream of Architectural Constructivism. Implicit in the work is a cautionary tale about the computerization of our modern world and the danger of a loss of the natural and the inspirational. Through the visual power of art, nature--the almost absent counter image of this mechanized world—is ultimately redeemed.
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