Osamu Kobayashi: Noontide
At Noontide. He to whom an active and stormy morning of life is allotted, at the noontide of life feels his soul overcome by a strange longing for a rest that may last for months and years. All grows silent around him, voices sound farther and farther in the distance, the sun shines straight down upon him. On a hidden woodland sward he sees the great God Pan sleeping, and with Pan Nature seems to him to have gone to sleep with an expression of eternity on their faces. He wants nothing, he troubles about nothing; his heart stands still, only his eye lives. It is a death with waking eyes. Then man sees much that he never saw before, and, so far as his eye can reach, all is woven into and as it were buried in a net of light. He feels happy, but it is a heavy, very heavy kind of happiness. Then at last the wind stirs in the trees, noontide is over, life carries him away again, life with its blind eyes, and its tempestuous retinue behind it — desire, illusion, oblivion, enjoyment, destruction, decay. And so comes evening, more stormy and more active than was even the morning. To the really active man these prolonged phases of cognition seem almost uncanny and morbid, but not unpleasant.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, 308. AT NOONTIDE
Osamu Kobayashi relinquishes his soul to paint. He allows the ebb and flow of material to determine the direction of his work. He uses reductive forms and flat colors to deconstruct the world around him. Aside from aesthetics, his work plays off of abstract ideas in general—spirituality, humor, nature, relationships, psychology, time, and so on. These days, Kobayashi thinks less about meaning and just paints to paint. The same ideas still inform the work but come from a more subconscious place. It has allowed more freedom in his painting decisions, with results less preconceived. Lately, undulating strokes that overlap, caress, or barely touch is a common thread. Feelings of tension and intimacy arise in playful compositions that allude to landscapes, bodies, plants and creatures. They are self contained ecosystems allowing for multiple coexisting interpretations.
Kobayashi’s highly pigmented, vibrating surfaces create a sense of meditation in the viewer. The minimalist compositions suggest a passive narrative that allows for multiple elucidation. Mindy Solomon Gallery is excited to introduce this new body of work to Miami, a place of light and warmth and the ever present Noontide.
About the artist:
Osamu Kobayashi was born in Columbia, SC in 1984. He has exhibited widely in the US and abroad including solo exhibitions at the Greenwich House in New York, AplusB Contemporary Art in Italy, and John Davis Gallery in New York. He was recently awarded the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a recipient of the Morris Louis ’32 scholarship. For Osamu Kobayashi the process of painting is a power struggle. He takes his paintings one way; they want to go somewhere else. And when they go somewhere else, he drags them in another direction. In the end, the paintings usually win. Kobayashi’s work is reductive in form, often compositionally centered, and employ a spontaneous and intuitive array of colors, shapes, and textures. Using these elements he creates visual dualities: chance vs. control, organic vs. geometric, warm vs. cool, large vs. small, etc. Osamu currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is currently a resident at the Sharp Walentas Residency, NY.