We are pleased to present Transition, Kamakura-based artist Anne Kagioka Rigoulet's first solo exhibition in three years, at MAKI Gallery / Tennoz II, Tokyo. This exhibition will center around new works from Kagioka's Figure series which is a derivation of the artist's signature Reflection series, a project ongoing since 2014 in which she depicts reflections in water. The exhibition will also feature works from her Element series which is inspired by Kagioka's experience at an artist residency program in Luxembourg in 2019. The exhibition title, Transition, embodies a common theme of both series—metamorphosis and change. The sensitivities and emotions gained by the viewer wandering between various subjects, techniques, scales, colors, and spaces allow for each work to continue their perpetual transformation. Please take this opportunity to enjoy Kagioka's new works in person at our gallery.
Throughout her artistic career, Kagioka has consistently created work with the underlying concept of expressing abstract forms hidden in daily life, as well as the inherent vitality of nature. Based on her studies of water reflections in various locations around the world, she has continued to make sculptural paintings utilizing a unique method that combines fabric collage with sgraffito ("to scratch" in Italian), a classic technique used in mural decor which she acquired when she studied fresco. The Reflection series has continued to fascinate viewers since its conception in 2014, capturing water's innate vigour on large-scale, multi-panel works spanning over three meters wide. The series also includes monochromatic paintings whose limited color palette enhances the works' skillfully executed sculpturality. The Figure series, which developed from the Reflection series, depicts figures reflected in water, presenting a scene in which nature and the human body meld into one. The figures distort, coalesce, merge, and continuously evolve, influenced by an array of variables such as the movement and conditions of the water or the nature of the reflected landscape. To Kagioka, these scenes are striking embodiments of the process of abstraction. She uses her unique painting technique to depict this entire process, and the dynamic power it holds, on canvas. The skin and clothing reflected in water produce a diverse color palette full of hues not normally found in nature, leading the artist to explore new color combinations which are distinct from her previous works. The ambiguity of the figures in this series prompts us to continuously question their identities, stimulating our senses and imagination. From betwixt the lively, multi-layered waves, one can observe the artist's experimentation in portraying bodies and water surfaces.
On the other hand, Kagioka's most recent series, Element, takes dynamic rock formations as its motif and is inspired by her experience at an artist residency program in Luxembourg in 2019. Based on watercolor studies done during this time, the paintings use acrylic paint to express the primitive power and magnificence of nature encountered by the artist. By conversing with the canvas via large, mark-making strokes which use her whole body, Kagioka brings out the earth's complex, organic, sculptural beauty, as well as its vibrant colors, to its full extent. The abstract form and colors of the rocks, which have been molded into their present shape by many years of water erosion, continue to morph depending on the time of day and weather conditions, generating ever-changing expressions. Parallel to how water constantly mutates according to environmental variables, this new series of works ties in seamlessly with the artist's creative practice thus far.
Water, landscapes, and the human body have all been familiar subjects in art history since ancient times. In continuance of this history, Kagioka passionately pursues the fundamental elements of painting–color, texture, light, and rhythm–exhibiting a unique artistic expression and evolution for contemporary times. We invite you to experience the inherent vigour that resides in rocks and water, and the dynamic power exuded by their many transmutations, in the gallery space.
Press Release Courtsy of Maki