Koshiro Akiyama Has “Nowhere To Go”

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Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles // January 05, 2024 – February 17, 2024

Nino Mier Gallery is thrilled to announce Nowhere To Go, London-based artist Koshiro Akiyama’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. A series of new, meditative acrylic paintings will be on view in Los Angeles from January 5 – February 17, 2024.

Nowhere To Go whisks figure and landscape into a hypnagogic purgatory in which tree-lined forests, smoldering sunsets, and verdant fields are rendered with layers of short, translucent brushstrokes. Each work appears half-crystallized, as if witnessed in motion or conjured in a dream state. Akiyama’s figures share in such uncertainty: in Confusion, a nude figure reclines amidst a flurry of blue and green marks resembling a wooded enclave. An arm reaches around her head, though it is unclear whether the arm is her own or a stranger’s. Confusion, like the exhibition at large, reaches for a truth that nevertheless remains elusive. Akiyama, lingering in a state of indeterminacy, asks viewers to instead focus on the artifice of recollection.

Feelings of melancholy and longing shoot through Nowhere To Go. Such affects are expressed in Akiyama’s languid brushwork and rich color schemes, rather than through his figures’ expressions. Faces are typically underrepresented or turned away from the viewer like fading memories. The interior lives of Akiyama’s subjects may appear inaccessible, but their surrounding atmospheres hang thick with sentiment.

Though the paintings in Nowhere To Go are rooted in the artist’s more personal reflections on life and loss, art historical referents appear throughout the exhibition. The aesthetic qualities of classical Japanese ink paintings merge with subject matter partially rooted in European modernism. Unquiet Sea, for instance, recalls the composition and velvety blue tones of Jean Auguste Ingres’ Grande Odalisque, while Akiyama’s meditations on figure and landscape recall the work of earlier Romantics who proclaimed the line between subject and environment to be porous. The poetic character of the work, in turn, recalls contemporary painter and ceramicist Leiko Ikemura’s enigmatic worlds. Despite such multifarious ties to the outside world, Nowhere To Go suggests a sense of congestion and fatalism, in title and in content. Nature, in Akiyama’s hands, is not an airy expanse, but rather is congealed matter almost indistinguishable figure and object. The claustrophobia of these scenes—the artifice of memory, the inaccessibility of interiority – is one only articulable through the expressive immediacy of paint.

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