DILLON GALLERY MAKOTO FUJIMURA âCHARISâ
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NEW YORK CITY â The Dillon Gallery is hosting an exhibition by Japanese-American artist Makoto Fujimura. His exhibit âCharis,â which is primarily composed of three monumental gold compositions completed over the last ten years in New York, shows the significance of his most powerful works in âDecember Hour,â âGolden Fireâ and âCharis,â and will be on view through August 2.
While painting âDecember Hour,â dedicated to a dying friend, he prayed desperately as he layered gold over gold, struggling to understand Godâs wisdom in taking someone so young.
âGolden Fireâ develops this theme further; this painting focuses on the theme of fire, particularly significant in the nationâs post-September 11 reality. Fujimura wanted to depict gold rising in the fire of destruction, and at the same time, letting the surface also speak of the purifying power of fire.
âCharis,â further emphasizes the âGolden Fireâ language. In homage to Willem de Kooning, Fujimura creates space that is both flat and partial. Gold is that paradox: it creates space (by being semitransparent) and remains flat (by being mirrorlike) at the same time.
Gold, in all civilizations, symbolizes divinity. To Fujimura, the act of layering gold, is to invite the divine reality (multidimensionality) to break into everyday broken (flat) realty. The more Fujimura journeys deeply into the effects of gold and mineral pigments, the more he is taken by the refractive possibilities of the materials, while at the same time, unable to contain or control the glory built into them.
Having been taught that one must use the best materials in order to truly get to know the ancient craft, he began using the finest gold and minerals he could purchase.
Fujimura is now considered one of the most important midcareer painters working in the âNihongaâ (Japanese painting) style. He is recognized both in the United States and Japan for his contribution to the revitalization of this ancient technique, as his innovations have inspired a generation of artists to follow in his style.
Dillon Gallery is at 555 West 25th Street. For information, www.dillongallery.com or 212-727-8585.