Kristen Lorello is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Takuji Hamanaka. This is the artist's fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
January 30 - March 2
Opening reception: Saturday, February 3rd, 6-8pm
23 East 73rd Street, 5th FloorNew York, NY 10021
Hamanaka is known for his optical compositions made with an innovative process of collaging small pieces of papers that are printed in a 19th Century Japanese technique. His works adapt the Bokashi technique, in which an unevenly inked block creates a color gradient when pressed to paper, to a contemporary practice that is at once invigorating, colorful, and abstract. The current exhibition builds upon Hamanaka's investigation of this process as he complicates the surface quality of his works. The new works include overlapped printed papers and silken Gami paper, added to monochrome printed papers affixed to the surface in a mosaic-like way. They evince Hamanaka's ongoing interest in architecture, nature, design, and stained glass, and expand the works' visual references to other craft practices such as sewing and weaving.
The artist's inspiration for this new body of work is the idea of a waterfall, taken for its literal and metaphorical meaning. Hamanaka is conceptually interested in the notion of eternity, the continuity between past and present, and the constant flow movement and energies. These ideas appear within the individual works and in the artist's process, beginning from the start at the studio, where Hamanaka hand-prints thousands of woodcuts, cuts them into grids, and pastes them onto museum board in predesigned orders. Each work includes a background pattern of single blurred lines in dark blue or green and a multicolor pattern of colors in the foreground set within sections of bands that appear to dip, bounce, and shift in small increments. The colors repeat as sets of four, providing multiple combinations within a specific framework. Undulating bands cascade off the paper with no perceivable end point, and pull the eye forward, backward, and side-to-side. Taken together within the exhibition, the ten works on view encompass the viewer in an energetic and meditative atmosphere.
Takuji Hamanaka was born in 1968 in Hokkaido, Japan and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent exhibitions include 'Elastic Bandwith,' McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY, '22 Views of Mokuhanga,' Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, and 'Visible Rhythms: Pattern and Color, Center for Contemporary Printmaking,' Norwalk, CT. Hamanaka is the 2022 recipient of a prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the recipient numerous other grants and awards including, the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Printmaking (2023), the Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant (2021), the Rauschenberg Emergency Grant (2020), and the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Printmaking (2017 and 2011). He was a fellow at the Kala Art institute, Berkeley, CA in 2016 and a Barbara and Thomas Putnam Fellow at MacDowell Colony in 2013. From 1986-89 he trained at the Adachi Institute of Woodblock printmaking in Tokyo, Japan. Hamanaka's works are included in the collections of the Fleming Museum, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, the Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection among others. His work has been discussed in The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, and Printmaking Today, among other publications.