Naoto Nakagawa

Nielsen Gallery

Naoto Nakagawa has dedicated himself to painting still lifes ever since his move, in 1962, from Japan to New York. In his most recent solo show, consisting of 13 acrylic and mixed-media paintings from 1992–96, and seven drawings executed in 1995, Nakagawa focuses on two motifs—roses and earth. His paintings transform the flowers and clumps of ripped-up turf, carefully arranged on a table in the studio, into haunting visions in which color is minimized and images are placed against a background of black and gray. In some, the paintings take on aspects of sculpture as the rolled left-hand side juts out from the wall, like a mounted scroll.

As a member of the O.K. Harris Gallery hyperrealist stable in the ’70s, Nakagawa was renowned for his highly keyed depictions of nature juxtaposed with consumer items and high-tech commodities (e.g., drills, sneakers, and bicycles, balanced with fish and

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