KAZUO NAKAMURA, R.C.A.
SUSPENDED REFLECTIONS, 1968
oil on canvas
signed and dated; also signed and dated on the stretcher
29 ins x 36 ins; 73.7 cms x 91.4 cms
Founding member of Painters 11, Kazuo Nakamura (1926-2002) strove to use painting to reveal the “universal patterns” found in nature and science, approaching fundamental and underlying truths through abstraction, repetition, and form.
This approach is readily apparent in Suspended Reflections, a compelling work that marks a shift from his earlier stylised landscapes towards the schematic, mathematical grid paintings he would produce in the 1970s and 80s. Here, Nakamura depicts a shuddering lake beneath a tremor of a treeline, all in the same monochrome blue. A blue haze of a sky is hinted at above. The landscape is framed against an indeterminate blue void - not once, but multiple times: the same scene recurs in refracted doublings that recede backwards. Two small sections are segmented out and dappled below. This repetition is reinforced by a bold white laddering along the left-hand edge. The formative geometry comes as a surprise compared to the naturalistic impression of the lake, and self-consciously reveals the structure of the canvas and of the landscape it depicts. Highly analytical and studiously ordered,
Nakamura’s paintings are exceptional examples of the productive possibility of fusing landscape and abstraction.
Private Collection, Toronto