NEW YORK, NY.- Stephen Haller Gallery
presents a solo exhibition of dynamic new work by Nobu Fukui - canvases vibrant with invention.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full color catalogue with essay by Carter Ratcliff.
Fukuis work reads as non-objective painting at a distance, yet on closer observation beguiles with surprising imagery that suggests narrative. The eye plays across the surface of his work as if watching a video game in giddy visual delight. Oil paint, acrylics, three-dimensional beads, collage: these are some of the ingredients of this exciting work. Benjamin Genocchio in the New York Times wrote: In fact, some works are so densely layered that they are a bit like bubbling cauldrons of imagery. It is part Pop Art, part potpourri
Fukuis new series of paintings is inspired by an image he experienced of a sky dense with swirling flocks of birds. The surprise three-dimensionality of crystalline or pearl-like beads touched with paint adds to the dazzling complexity of these dynamic works, and a sense of movement is suggested by circular images - wheels within wheels in a kaleidoscopic richness of intense color. The new scattering of beads suggests spawn a vibrancy of teeming life and vitality.
Nobu Fukui was born in Japan, but has lived and worked in New York for most of his artistic career. His passion for the imagery of anime and cartoon characters is rooted in his childhood and the weekly arrival of beloved Astro Boy comics. Fukui uses these energy-charged images of vintage and current anime, manga, and American cartoon imagery with astonishing skill, as if they are simply colors in his vibrant palette, as he explores the nexus of creativity and play.
There has always been a push-pull in Fukuis collage-based paintings of the last few years a sensation of almost falling into the celestial spaces of the early series, or of being drawn in to the densely packed imagery of his Art in America or Superheroes series. His distinctly fresh approach creates a kind of Pollock-like frenzy of color, re-inventing action painting with images.