My upcoming exhibit, Soliloquies, will be in the Main Gallery from May 21 through June 25, 2010. The exhibit is curated by Cynthia Peltier and funded through the generous support of the Bucknell University Association for the Arts. It is organized by the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University in partnership with the Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University. You can take a virtual tour of the exhibit here.
From the Press Release: Makoto Fujimura '83 works within the tradition of abstract painting that seeks to depict the "Sublime", and artists such as J.M.W. Turner, the English Romantic landscape painter who became known as a painter of light, spring to mind. Fujimura's work also reminds one of the atmospheric color and devotional qualities of Mark Rothko's paintings installed in the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, where the viewer is asked to spend time with works that are inherently meditative and come to life slowly as one's vision adjusts to the subtle color fields. Yet we are also compelled to think of illuminated medieval manuscripts, especially when Makoto uses gold leaf as an expressive component in his paintings, as he does in Golden Fire. Gold is associated with permanence and spirituality, and in Makoto's paintings, gold takes on the properties and presence of intense light. His works also evoke the mystery and infinite qualities of the cosmos. Imagery from the NASA Hubble Space telescope helps us to access the beauty of the visible universe. One cannot help but experience that sense of cosmic space when looking at Makoto's compositions. His work also appears to be deeply rooted in Asian landscape art, and many of his paintings suggest sky, rivers, streams, rising mist and the ethereal beauty of nature.
We live in a world in which there is increasing cynicism, anxiety, and despair. Makoto Fujimura offers us, through his paintings, a place of refuge and redemption. He has drawn upon traditional painting practices he studied in Japan and merged his process with concepts of contemporary Western abstraction. Fujimura's work is devotional and is deeply rooted in faith and spirituality. He uses abstraction as visual poetry to depict the unseen and mysterious dimensions of transcendence. His works reveal themselves over time, as veils of glistening mineral pigments create monochromatic atmospheres, cascading and flowing over the paper. The paintings show their own history as layers become gradually more transparent. At times, Makoto uses calligraphic strokes, which reveal the presence of the artist's hand at work. He is not questing only for perfection in the paintings; he also sees beauty in the incomplete gesture and the fragmented shapes and brokenness shown in some of his compositions such as the falling grids in Soliloquies - Joy.
As an artist working in his studio near Ground Zero, Makoto Fujimura was deeply affected and moved emotionally by the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He is an artist who is well aware of the human suffering and prevailing hopelessness present in our world. Bur rather than despair, Makoto works with great sincerity as an artist and longs for transcendence. He humbly wishes to offer and share with us, through his paintings, his own journey towards a still place of grace, meditative beauty, hope and redemption. He invites us to contemplate and call upon our own inner awareness as we all search for deeper meaning and purpose in our lives.