New York, January 15, 2014 - Hawaiian-born artist Robert Yasuda, noted for his subtle paintings syffused with luminous color, presents new work in the solo exhibition Make Haste Slowly (Isogaba Maware - Japanese Proverb).
Yasuda builds surfaces that are at once ethereal and architectural. His process begins with wooden panels, which he carvas by hand. The panels often take on unexpected shapes and non-traditional forms. Their smooth, gently sloped edfes are one of the hallmarks of Yasuda's work.
Once the sculpted wooden panels are constructed, he applies alternate layers of fabric and paint-a palette of luminescent teals, pinks, purples, blues, greens and gold building the surface until the desired effect is achieved. Suspended between layers of translucent paint, the intricate weave of the scrim forms a grid of microscopic receptors that capture and reflect light.
Each layer of paint and fabric is subtly visble, creating a radiant color field and depth of space that lures the viewer in, compelling an extended examination. The work is understated and contemplative, revealing itself in a slow and deliberate manner. " The paintings are a form of meditation that bring you into the work, creating a quiet intensity and intimate space, " says Yasuda.
In addition to his ongoing investigation into the effects of light on surfaces and forms, Yasuda also continues to examine the role of the support in his paintings. Haing rejected the notion of the conventional painting frame as a decorative or purely functional element, Yasuda consistently introduces new means of context and framing. He attaches convert cradle-like wooden structures behid and above several paintings, forcing the works foward into space giving them a distinctly sculptural quality.
He began exploring themes of perception, light and nature in the earlyy 1970s, producing resoundingly abstract paintings. Increasingly, he became fascinated with the way various kinds of light, natural and artificial, affected the perceived color and character of his works. Some paintings were even backlit to produce color that exists in shadow.
Robert Yasuda has been recognized with awards from the john Hay Whitney Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His works are in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The New York Public Library; The Bass Museum, Miami, Forida; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; and The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas. He has exhibited extensively across the globe. Notable exhibition include the Bruno Bischofberger Gallery, Zurich; the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
Robert Yasuda moved to New York from Hawaii in 1958 to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has continued to work and live in New York City since that time.
Click Here to view a digital catalogue of the exhibition with an essay by Dr. Marshall Price, curator of contemporary art at the National Academy Museum.