“Lydia Okumura: Minimalist Anyway”
Opening: May 2nd
On display May 2 – June 17, 2017
The Brazilian-born, New York based artist Lydia Okumura will be showing works at White Rainbow Gallery in London this Spring, employing paint, string, and other simple materials to challenge the viewer’s perception of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. Her abstract, geometrically precise work is conceptually rooted in minimalism, and often disrupts the formal boundaries between bodies, shapes, and figures within their material environment. Throughout her 50 years of art making, Okumura continues to explore the realms of geometric abstraction through re-imaginations of past installations and new work.
Born to a Japanese Immigrant family, Okumura’s practice draws from her experiences of cultural integration and disjunction while attending Japanese school in Brazil. Much of her work in abstraction can be traced to her father’s success as a professional calligrapher–the language of shape, form, and line are a constant motif throughout her oeuvre. Okumura studied art in São Paolo during the most trying period of Brazil’s military dictatorship, which can be seen through her exploration of the relationship between formal art-making techniques and the mundane, often oppressive constraints of authoritarian labor practices. Her first solo exhibition took place at Varanda Galeria in 1968, and included industrial ceramic work and painting. She was further influenced by the Japanese Magazine ‘Bijutsu Teku,’ which exposed her to international movements like Concept Art, Minimalism, Art Povera, and Land Art, which she communicated in her exhibition at the Tokyo Biennale in 1970.