May 13 – June 24, 2023
2525 Michigan Avenue B6, Santa Monica, CA 90404
View Online: https://www.lesliesacks.com/exhibitions/marc-katano4/selected-works1#tab:thumbnails;slide-1:6;slide:10;tab-1:thumbnails
Leslie Sacks Gallery is pleased to present Longhand, an exhibition by Tokyo born, Los Angeles-based Japanese American artist, Marc Katano. Longhand offers a survey of Katano’s work spanning three decades and examines the development of his work through the use of what Katano refers to as his “basic alphabet” of repeated forms. The shifts and changes of this visual vocabulary have resulted in the gradual transformation of Katano’s work. This idea–a line—runs through and informs every painting he makes.
Embedded in Marc Katano’s paintings is the essence of Japanese mark making which is steeped in the gestural and fluid movement of calligraphy. His approach is organic and spontaneous in nature employing just a few shapes to produce a visual vocabulary elucidated through gesture, drawing, and staining with acrylic and inks. As an example, the form of the ellipse is used repetitiously through the simple, repeated action of making the C and D motion with his hand and arm. Most often working by standing above the paper laid out on the floor, it is Katano’s actions and gesticulations which yield an unscripted, unforeseen composition. “Each mark represents nothing more than its own creation, and each piece finds meaning in the harmony of its own structure. While my compositions are organic in form, they are not intended to emulate nature. These forms are used repeatedly, as are letters to make words, but they represent nothing more than themselves. I want the viewer to stay with these densely layered paintings and begin to see the interlaced whole.”
During the late-nineties and mid-2000s, color dominated Marc Katano’s paintings. Some years later he began painting calligraphic, gestural characters on heavy Nepalese paper using rich black or inky-blue acrylic paint, later giving way to seeping blue and black washed stains. Katano appreciates the unpredictable challenge of painting on handmade Nepalese paper. Each sheet is thicker or thinner, more, or less smooth than the last, giving way to unprompted moments of discovery. Katano’s paintings are dynamic without seeking superfluous meaning. They emphasize the act of inscription and are inspired by the necessary human condition of physical expression.
The exhibition will also present for the first time Katano’s recent woodcut prints. The richly inked multi-panel woodcuts are printed on a handmade Japan pearl paper. The dominating painterly black gestures are swarmed by a swirling sea of carve-outs. These compositions are an elegant nod to another revered Japanese tradition, woodblock printing.
Marc Katano’s paintings and works on paper are held in numerous prominent public and private collections and institutions, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, Legion of Honor, Achenback Collection, San Francisco, CA, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI. Katano’s work has been exhibited at the Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, CA, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, San Jose Museum of Modern Art.
Leslie Sacks Gallery is located in Santa Monica at the Bergamot Station Arts Center at 2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite B6. For more information visit lesliesacks.com, email [email protected] or call 310 264 0640.
Hi resolution jpeg’s available upon request.