new-york

Kiyoshi Nakagami, Untitled, 2012, acrylic, Chinese ink, and mica on canvas, 75 1/2 x 76 1/2".

Kiyoshi Nakagami

Galerie Richard | New York

Kiyoshi Nakagami, Untitled, 2012, acrylic, Chinese ink, and mica on canvas, 75 1/2 x 76 1/2".

The striking thing about Kiyoshi Nakagami’s paintings is not so much their sublimity, but the unexpected influence of Barnett Newman’s “zip” on their construction—“unexpected” because Nakagami’s ethereal waterfalls of gold paint on black grounds are, formally, miles away from Newman’s rigorously geometric Color Field abstractions. Yet it is not the drip’s form—the cleanly demarcated vertical line—in which Nakagami is interested. Rather, he is inspired by the way in which the zips recall “drips,” the way in which they seemingly cascade down the flat planes of Newman’s painting, drawn by gravity to the earth. (He also acknowledges a debt to Frederic Edwin Church’s Niagara, 1857.)

Accordingly, Nakagami “paints” by laying his acrylic on the canvas, moving it this way and that, and allowing gravity to move the pigment, which he has “enriched” with mica. The resultant

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