Considered to be a category of art that is an objective and concrete representation of specific sites, landscape painting might be seen as quite a traditional art practice. The question of the relevance and necessity of the expression of the land and landscape paintings is however of pressing interest to many modern artists and critics. With the golden age of English landscape painting led by Turner and Constable and the heyday of Japanese ukiyo-e wood blocks prints representing nature now being seen in a nostalgic light, how can contemporary subjects and techniques associated with landscape art highlight modern society’s relationship with our environment? Has the all-important artist’s gaze towards their surroundings been devalued? Should landscape art just be deemed passé or be allowed to reconstruct itself?
Bearing these issues in mind, The Japan Foundation has invited artists from both Japan and the United Kingdom to discuss the current practices related to landscape art, and look at the legacy of this considered medium and its place in contemporary art history. Referring to the invited artists’ works and the concepts behind them, this event will raise questions about the way that landscape painting is appreciated by present audiences and artists, taking stock of how this genre has evolved, as opposed to other painting styles, as well as examine what the future may hold.
Andrew Gifford is recognised as one of the most innovative British landscape painters working today. His paintings and light installations have been widely exhibited, including solo public shows at Leeds City Art Gallery (2004), Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh (2001) and Middlesbrough Art Gallery (2000). Collections include the New Art Gallery, Walsall and Chatsworth House and in private collections in Europe, USA and Japan. A monograph on the artist was published in 2005. This depth of interest in the natural world is also reflected in his painting style.
Masakatsu Kondo is an artist whose paintings draw on the natural world and symbolic imagery of contemporary media. Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1962, he graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1993 and has continued to live and work in London. He has exhibited internationally, both solo and as part of group shows.
Miyuki Tsugami is a Japanese artist living and working in Japan who uses a combination of colours and forms, rather than narrative or sentiment. In 2013, she won the 24th Gotoh Cultural Award Fine Arts Division, which led her to relocate to the United Kingdom where she was able to work on internalising landscapes through sketches of European scenery, drawing influence from notable British landscape artists and revisiting the actual sites that they depicted in their art. While Tsugami’s works are subjective renderings symbolic of a vague atmosphere, she is meticulous in her research of each location, observing all aspects of the spaces in order to create work that conveys a sense of connection and engagement.
The discussion will be chaired by Alastair Gordon, practising artist and part time lecturer at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, as well as founder/director of Morphē Arts and founder of Husk Gallery, London.
11 September 2015
The Art Workers Guild
6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT
Booking: The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Miyuki Tsugami, View-trees on the uphill, Nov.12-Jan.13, 2013, 218.2×333.3cm, pigment, glue, acrylic, and others on canvas, © TSUGAMI Miyuki, courtesy of HASHIMOTO ART OFFICE, photo by Tamotsu Kido, Private Collection