NORIKO SAKANISHI Congress Street Gallery
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Noriko Sakanishi has been making and exhibiting art in Maine for two and a half decades. Her signature pieces are the constructions, three-dimensional paintings painstakingly constructed from lightweight materials that project a sense of weight, authority and always the hint of mystery. The other elements included in this exhibit are collages--which incorporate scraps of certain materials, pieces of paper, fragments of clothing that have special, often deeply emotional, meaning--and drawings, a medium not included in previous exhibits. The drawings are in two categories; large graphite on rag board responses to specific selections of music, and small tender renditions about loss. Sakanishi's work is geometric and grid-based, the restrained formality only slightly veiling underlying, insistent emotion.
A recipient of a 2005-2006 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Noriko Sakanishi has exhibited in significant galleries and institutions in New England and New York. She resides and maintains a studio in Portland. This marks Sakanishi's 17th year with June Fitzpatrick Gallery.
The process of art making for me is mostly intuitive. In recent years, I have divided my studio time between making constructions, collages and drawings with the majority of my time going to constructions. Since my last show at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery, I have found myself giving more time to collages and drawings. I wanted to explore and go a little deeper into those areas. The show title of "ELEMENTS" came about as a way of suggesting that, though there is a variety of work in this show, it all comes together to provide a glimpse of who I am as an artist at this particular point in time.
Excerpted Maine Sunday Telegram review by Philip Isaacson, November 13, 2005
Noriko Sakanishi's art dwells in an indeterminate world, somewhere between painting and sculpture and somewhere between the fastidious shibui of Japan and the approach made by art to industrial America in the 1930s. If the last bit isn't clear, think of Margaret Bourke-White and the repetition of tough industrial forms.
The joining of two aesthetics, one remarkable for its exquisite refinement and the other for its aggressive force, is Sakanishi's achievement. It is a synthesis in tension--the tug between Zen and the erstwhile fist of Bethlehem Steel or Detroit.
I look for the former--the philosophically achieved austerity--but the latter, the references to cast and machined forms, nudges me aside. This contributes animation. The work, despite flawless formal arrangement and a calming palette, is never quite at rest.