Please come to see Okada's show at Artifact gallery in lower east side. The show closing this Sunday, December 2nd. Gallery hours: Wed. - Sun. 12-6pm.
"APETALOUS" New Paintings of Flowers having No Petals
November 14 - December 2, 2012
84 ORCHARD STREET
between Broom & Grand
New York, NY 10002
Please find below an essay from the catalogue of the exhibition:
"Convincing Imaginative Forms of Katsura Okada
By John Austin
The state of contemporary art is such that the audience has been primed to crave for an integral and dynamic art that seemingly challenges all assumptions, an art that keeps the romantic tradition of the avant garde alive, where the altogether “new” must be kept in the foreground. An art in which the “breakthrough tradition”, the great oxymoron of late modernist art, must, at all costs, be upheld.
It is the freshness and the immediacy of her hand that draws the eye of the beholder Katsura Okada’s delicate paintings of flowers. Her image-making involves a fragile synthesis: It draws together her powers of observation as well as those of her singular intelligence. Together they re-construct the world for us through the creative action of her imagination. This imaging process re-creating, inimitably, the world, in compelling works involves a dual process on the part of the artist and it implicates the mind as well as the sensations.
August Macke wrote: “Incomprehensible ideas express themselves in comprehensible forms… To create forms means: to live. Each form of art is an expression of his inner life”. Macke’s friend Vassilly Kandinsky later expanded on this statement and in Concerning the Spiritual in Art wrote passionately about the need for a state of “inner necessity” to be present in the psyche of every truly authentic artist. The mind of the adult rationally uses the impulse of “inner necessity”, that drive, to propel the sensations of the world and give them life forms using color, shape, density, and elements of composition. In other words creating a forceful image of the world is virtually impossible: it involves being submerged within one’s sensibility without self-reflection. Simultaneously it requires being conscious one’s perceptions, one’s visual responses to the world and their translation through material means, such as paint and canvas.
Katsura Okada has the great gift of making her works on paper look effortless and uncontrived. This is a very difficult thing to do, as I hope I’ve made clear, and it is the first mark of a first-rate artist. Okada’s vision has a “springclasp” aspect, a word that connotes oppositional qualities. Firstly, her painting has a blooming and lively quality that I associate with the season of spring as it has a spontaneity that “springs” to life because it “clasps” together antithetical aspects.
Her artwork contains formal oppositions which enlivens all of her efforts. What captivates the eye is delicate power which mutes the natural patterning create by the forms and shapes referring to flowers. Okada has been remarkably sensitive to keep within certain visual mimetic parameters (the carefully delineated shadows of the tree branches, for example) in order to convey naturalistic impressions without eschewing completely her inclination to abstract her image near-totally. She builds up visual information that flows in opposite directions ether as mimetic representation of natural objects of delight and exemplifying the veneration of nature, or complete non-objectivity and gestural abstraction, that is a shift to iconic symbol.
This tension of opposites which leads to the excellence of form-making in the artist’s painterly works is the result of a harmonious fusion of object (that is of nature) presented, the object suggested, and through image evoked, the “thing” expressed. That “thing” the life force of the world brought to consciousness through inner necessity is the great gift that Katsura Okada offers to us in her resplendent springclasp paintings. What is in plain sight in mid-flight pattern is suspended Okada’s flourishing vision of significant forms.
John Austin is an art writer working in Manhattan."
Published by ARTIFACT gallery, NYC 2012