Lawrence Asher Gallery is proud to present two emerging visionaries in the field of painting as they continue to make visual statements through their new, strong series of works. Fumiko Amano introduces Heian Dream Series with whimsical, mixed media works complete with her trademark gestural brush strokes to produce pop-cultural hallmarks. LAG introduces Art Weeks who over the past quarter century as a top Art Director and Designer had produced dynamic visuals with great aplomb. He now combines complex themes with precise and imaginative illustrative techniques to create timely interpretations. Fumiko Amano has been a Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2003.
"Which is more musical: a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?" - John Cage
Every city is filled with sounds that combine to form a sonic landscape. I have spent time in many different cities and have always been interested in the sonic landscapes of urban areas. I grew up in Tokyo during the smoggy 70‚s and was annoyed and depressed by the yellow flags that signaled dangerous pollution levels in the air. But along with the pollution came a sonic landscape of cars, sirens and trains that I truly enjoyed. It was an environment that seemed natural to me.
I began taking piano lessons when I was three years old and feel that classical music provided a sound structure that helped me decode the sonic landscape that was evolving around me. I didn‚t realize at the time that these industrial sounds were being incorporated into modern musical scores.
Sound is my inspiration. Sounds fill my canvases. I turn sound into color. Many classical composers have taken a similar route and have created charts that assign colors to notes.
I decided to create visual images inspired by urban noise after I saw Michiyoshi Inoue conduct a performance by a symphony orchestra by pointing at different parts of a large painting. The colors and textures of the painting became intertwined with the music. I was also inspired by John Cage's use of notation in Water Music. His musical score looked more like a drawing than a traditional score.
All of my recent paintings have been composed using collage techniques. I feel like a modern DJ when I am painting. I cut and paste from various ready-made sources to create a work with new meaning and a sense of history. I have incorporated architecture, Japanese comics, dreams, beat poetry and sound into my latest series of painting. Enjoy! - F.A., 2007
Fumiko Amano was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1968. She has been exploring various mediums to express herself since she was a child. She started taking piano lessons at three, and she was composing music by seven. By the age of ten, Amano published her first poetry book with her own ink drawings. In 1987, she attended Toyo Women's College in Tokyo as an English literature major and joined a theater club in school. At that time she was fascinated by contemporary theater directed by Yukio Ninagawa and Juro Kara (the most influential Japanese theater directors). This led Amano to move to the United States to study more about contemporary theater arts.
Amano attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she studied visual art, music recording, theater arts and performing arts for four and a half years. At age 23 she gave her first performance art piece using a big mixed media painting (7' x 35') which served as a musical score. She graduated from UWSP in 1993 with a BA in Art & Design-Painting/Printmaking. Soon after, she moved to San Francisco where she started incorporating Beat poetry, architecture, Japanese comics, dreams and sound into her paintings. In 1997, in search of a new environment to create sonic landscapes, Amano traveled extensively, first to Rio de Janeiro, then on to New York, Miami and Los Angeles where she finally settled down.
In 2000, she attended California Design College in Los Angeles to study fashion. Inspired by designs from contemporary designers such as Rei Kawakubo & Hussein Chalayan, she started her own label, Unicode, creating contemporary clothing designs and hats. She also started working on fabric-made installation art pieces inspired by those of Earnest Neto.
In 2003, because of her passion for film, she started a monthly art film screening event at Art Share in downtown L.A. as a curator/organizer. In 2004, Amano helped curate the Tar Fest Short Film Festival; and this year, she curated a film event for MOCA NIGHT VISION, in conjunction with Robert Rauschenberg: THE COMBINES. Los Angeles Magazine has dubbed her the 'culture vulture' of downtown Los Angeles (June 2004 issue) because of her devotion to the downtown art community.
Over the past five years Amano has been working on several series of paintings, including: Dream Series (2002 & 2007), Dust Painting Series (2003), Water Music Series (2003), Live Painting Series (2003-current), Organic Series (2003-current), Downtown Series (2004-current), Pattern Series (2005), Atmospherics Series (2006), and Flower Form Series (2006-current). Her atmospheric paintings, created as visualizations of sound/dream/organic forms, have been exhibited in San Francisco, New York, L.A., London, Korea and Germany. Her recent works were exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Lawrence Asher Gallery, LACMA Rental and Sales Gallery, Another Year in LA, Salon Oblique and Kingsgate Gallery in London.
View more of Fumiko Amano's work in her Portfolio at: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/s/soniclady/
The titles of these paintings are taken from songs by the music group The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys made what, on the surface, seemed like happy pop songs, but many of the lyrics dealt with much deeper issues than just having fun in the California sun: Loss, alienation, loneliness, ecological issues and fear of loss of soul. It is this undercurrent, rather than literal visual interpretation, that is explored.
Painted in mostly bright pop colors, with lyrical compositions, repetitive patterns, circles standing in for bubbles, polka dots, jet engine oil and shooting targets, the paintings deal with ecological issues (Don't Go Near the Water), natural disasters ("Help Me, Rhonda"), the threat of terrorist acts and war on our own soil ("Heroes & Villains") ("God Only Knows") and the ever-increasing list of new diseases like bird flu that threaten to wipe out the human race ("Don't Worry Baby" ).
"We find ourselves feeling alienated in a world that makes less sense every day. So, in essence, we learn to put on a happy face, if not just to get by then because believing, or attempting to believe, that everything will turn out all right gives comfort." - A.W., 2007
Art Weeks recently concluded a prolific design career spanning over 25 years to pursue his true passion in the fine arts. This is Art's first solo exhibition at Lawrence Asher Gallery.
2007 Heian Dreams 002 and 003,
mixed media on panel,
36" x 48" (each)