Naoto Nakagawa: TRIPLE X


Curated by Eric Shiner
March 8 – 31, 2007

White Box presents Triple X: Extended, Exploded, Extracted, an exhibition that traces the work of painter Naoto Nakagawa through the formative years of his career, 1965- 1975. Three key words of Triple X are “Extended,” “Exploded,” and “Extracted.”
Taken from the title of his first solo exhibition, at Judson Gallery, “Extended” alludes to the artist’s surrealist experiments in painted pastiche with everyday objects and a subsequent, studied approach to the formal arrangement of objects, albeit with attention to visual conceit.
“Exploded” refers to the “explosive force” felt in his large-scale works throughout 1970–72. Also characterized as the “Angry Objects” by art critic John Perreault, these “Exploded” canvases are populated by huge household objects rendered in bright hues, which seem to be engaged in an epic struggle—violence, sexual tension, and anger seem to animate them. “Extracted,” corresponding to the Hyperreal Still Lifes in Perreault’s terminology, indicates a new direction in Nakagawa’s work, in which a calmer temperament, meticulous observation, and formal perfection help him “extract” familiar objects from the mundane world.
With all of the works in Triple X, the iconography of Nakagawa’s imagery provides a window onto the painter’s inner thoughts and struggles. They typify his own journeys, relationships, and artistic output, representing the pivotal progress of a young painter’s search for a fully unique style. Many of Nakagawa’s large-scale paintings will be displayed for the first time, giving the viewer a rare chance to see these pivotal works that helped to shape the artist’s later output.