An artistic exploration of the importance and impact of the medium today is the basis of Maki Na Kamura's (Japan, living and working in Berlin) vibrant painting. By Maki Na Kamura, Maki Na Kamura creates contemporary pictorial spaces. Based on art historical references, she links to a long painting tradition. In his paintings, Na Kamura assimilates compositions and motifs of classical masterpieces by artists such as Giorgione, Nicolas Poussin and Jean-François Millet also refers to oriental art history and philosophy. Rather than easily quoting, she searches doggedly for the pictorial qualities and contemporaryity of her inspiration sources.
The exhibition shows various works from the series Steine legen, Äpfel lesen. Jean-Francois Millet (1857) bearing the same name. Strawberry stalks of wheat, golden brown, a motif derived from the painting Atalanta and Hippomenes (1625) by Guido Reni. The curved poses and free painting technique in the Kamura's paintings an ambiguous status as they appear to keep the middle between man and animal. Through the fusion of Millet's social-political theme of heavy labor with Greek myth, the poetic also achieves ironic undertone. In the series, the artist refers to today's Western consumerism and the age-old tension between nature and culture.
The paintings of Na Kamura have the special quality of being both figurative and abstract. An abstract composition of dynamic shapes, colors and lines creates a landscape scene with shapes and patterns - and vice versa. For example, in her See-paintings, our gauze wanders between a blue, flat color spot and a desolate lake in a landscape. In this way, the artist gives an answer to the famous dictum of Clement Greenberg, who said that modern painting should emphasize the flatness or the two-dimensionality of the canvas. However, according to Na Kamura the best paintings in the history of art are the ones in which figuration and abstraction effortlessly converge.
This play with perception is also visible in the illusion of depth is created. The paintings consist of different transparent color areas blurring the distinction between foreground and background. Realistic realistic realistic realistic realistic realistic realistic using using using using using using using using using using using using using using using using using She states that 'the horizon has been invented by painters', since it does not exist as a physical line or zone. As in the works of Japanese print artist Hokusai (1760-1849), who was also a source of inspiration for artists like Degas and Van Gogh, Na Kamura's painting defies the long-standing linear perspective of the West.
In her work, nothing is what it seems to be. The artist approaches the world as the sum of all her potential perceptions, forcing the viewer to 'look' instead of 'see'. This is also emphasized in the titles of the works. Where the title stands for 'Depiction Lies', the abbreviation LD stands for 'Landschaftsdarstellung' (landscape representation). The interpretation of the works belongs to the individual imagination of the viewer. This idea is reminiscent of a passage from the essay Never Ending Garden (1967) of Japanese poet Yukio Mishima, describing his experience in a traditional Japanese garden: 'If you allow your gauze to wander [into the garden] just half degree, then a whole new world opens up. (...) The innumerable wandering glances allow the viewer to experience an infinite number of world views.