Izumi Kato




Stephen Friedman Gallery presents the first UK solo exhibition by Japanese artist Izumi Kato. The exhibition, which celebrates the breadth of Kato’s practice, comprises painting, sculpture and drawing.

Kato animates figures that inhabit a liminal space between the physical and spiritual realms. His otherworldly subjects include children with distinctive faces, embryos with fully developed limbs, and figures with bulbous heads and large eyes attached to slender, graceful bodies. Speaking of these, the artist says, “They are no one and nowhere”; rather the forms are expressions of the energy and very essence of consciousness.

In the exhibition, Kato’s expressive paintings allude to themes of animism and folklore. Describing painting as the root of his practice, with bold clashing colours, the artist intuitively applies pigment to surfaces directly with his hands. Gathering material from his surroundings, he combines painting with stitching, knotting and carving – skills that as an avid fisherman he uses regularly – to create sculptures and installations formed out of found textile, wood and stone.

Kato’s mysterious creatures are presented in a variety of scenarios. A figure carved in wood resembles an aircraft, whilst another is adorned with animals, birds and bugs. Continuing the motif of nature, a human-sized sculpture cast in aluminium from found boulders is displayed in the gallery’s garden.

Duration 18 November 2022 - 07 January 2023
Times Tuesday–Friday, 10am–6pm. Saturday, 11am–5pm.
Cost Free
Venue Stephen Friedman Gallery
Address 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN
Contact / info@stephenfriedman.com / www.stephenfriedman.com/

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