Golden Rooms, Translucent Pictures and Mountains of Colour.
Like a Zen monk Futo Akiyoshi has worked on his series for many years. After successful solo shows in Tokyo and New York its Golden Rooms were seen lately at Frieze in London. Sexauer Gallery is proud to present his first solo show in Berlin.
More than a decade ago, in 2002, Japanese painter Futo Akiyoshi began painting his empty studio. Neither did he want to paint in an abstract nor in a figurative way. His studio was empty since he was going through a radical change in his artistic work and was having a break from painting. Futo Akiyoshi did not want to paint things anymore, but still he wanted to paint ‘something’. Conse- quently, he started painting the room that surrounded him, the empty room; his studio. He wanted to paint this room as abstractly as possible, or referring to Plato: the idea of a room. Or to Kant: the room in itself. Therefore, only a minimum of concrete characteristics should adhere to it, and still the idea of a room was supposed to be sharp. Futo Akiyoshi settled on gold.
(...) Therefore, he shapes mountains with paint, he does not figure them. And just like his series ‘room’ refers to a material, which is gold, he proceeds similarly here, referring to rocks and thus geological matter, using oil paint.
The third group of works called ‘naked relations’ (since 2013) consists of transparent images on acrylic sheets which stand on steel pins that are mounted in the walls. The images are constituted of four layers of several trans- parent oil colours. The first layer covers the support. On this layer Futo Akiyoshi paints three overlapping triangular shapes or squares. The image remains trans- parent and in this way it reveals its construction concept. Moreover, something spiritual is inherent in the paintings just like in the golden rooms. They partake of something anti-physical. Here, too, Futo Akiyoshi explores the ma- terial’s limits.
While the transparent paintings have a constructivist vocabulary the golden rooms are rather coined minimal- istic and the colour mountains display a pastose crossing of the border. What they all have in common is their intellectual content. Futo Akiyoshi says of himself that he lays down strict rules which he follows at first. However, implementing this self-committing programme causes him the highest joy. This joy is what you can see in his works. Thus, in Futo Akiyoshi’s art, the conceptionally intellectual conglomerates with sensual compassion. Almost as with a laughing Buddha.