Nobu Fukui - Untitled #1006
Japanese, b.1942
Untitled #1006, ca.1970
Acrylic on Canvas, 47 x 47 inches

Alumni Gift

Born in Tokyo, Fukui has lived in Manhattan in since 1963. It is a simplification to say that he was drawn to America by its art-- its music and movies also exerted a pull. More importantly, he objected from an early age to the regimentation of Japanese life. In America, he felt less hemmed in, a belief reinforced by the reproductions of Jackson Pollock's dripped canvases that he saw in Japanese periodicals during the late 1950s. The culture that permitted an artist to make such images would give him room to breathe.

In Untitled #1006, Fukui offers a blue disk, edged in a variety of reds and oranges, and notched with four symmetrical cuts. Its visual insistence is gained, in part, by how the disk presses against the four edges of the canvas. Unlike American counterparts, which were more precisely geometrical, Fukui's painting has a Japanese character in a more organic form that evokes flower and shell shapes. In calling upon the viewer to rest a steady gaze on the center of the disk, the tranquil effect induced in the viewer recalls the meditative spirit of Zen art.