Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening-on Thursday, May eight-of a solo exhibition Messengers by the sculptor,Hiroyuki Okumura, who was born (1963, Kanazawa)and educated in Japan and who has lived and worked in Mexico since 1989.This will be the artist's second one-person exhibition in New York.
Mr Okumura's favored working material is stone, and in recent years most of his works have been made with stone quarried in the State of Puebla.A characteristic working method which he has developed involves his carvinga pure form(includinglow, strongly horizontal, rectangular block-like forms, which frequently have overtones of having been inspired by a rugged landscape; in addition to these are discs and steles, both of which seemingly refer to the classical past ).These forms are then deliberately shattered into many fragments, varying in individual size. Before he patiently rejoins these elements into a single form,Okumura will choose a zone within the original carved form and alter a selected number of adjacent fragments so that they achieve a physicality which gives them both a familial relationship to the surrounding, unchanged fragments and an individuality shaped by the mind, eye, and hand of the artist.
The resultant works reward contemplation and effect in the viewer the role of an investigator, drawing him or her in for scrutiny to decipher the sequential process of creation, destruction, and alteration/restoration.Not only do the works have a strong presence when seen from a considerable distance-partly due to the clarity and elegance of their silhouettes, evoking as they do memories of other cultures and other centuries,but also the artist's mastery in both carving form and incising and articulating surfaceproducesa considerable visual richness.
The nine recent works which will compose the forthcoming exhibitiongained a particular resonance from their having been made during-and immediately after-Okumura's heroic labors on threecommissioned, site-specific works of grand scale for a public space in the city of Veracruz.As painters will often retreatto the making of very personal drawingsorsmall paintingsas a release fromthe intensities of producing a major work,so did the artistin the production of these small, very poetic works.
For the last sixteen years, Okumura has lived with his wife and three children in the relatively small city of Xalapa, in the state of Veracruz.One of the stellar attributes of Xalapais its superb archaeological museum, which is particularly rich in holdings of works from the Olmec period of pre-Columbian Mexico.His ongoing study of works in this museum's collectionhas proved inspirational.Although his work has not been directly influenced by the iconography of pre-Columbian art,he does sense a powerful connection between its evocation ofthe spirits of the natural world and classical Japanese art'sall-important base in, and references to, the realm of Nature.