Kazuo Nakamura


Kazuo Nakamura (1926-2002) was an accomplished Canadian artist and a co-founder of Painters Eleven (the acclaimed collective of abstract painters).

Founded in 1954, Painters Eleven was comprised of eleven artists including Harold Town, Jack Bush, and Ray Mead, to name a few. Together they held Toronto's first major exhibition showcasing the influence of abstract expressionism.

In comparison to his contemporaries who produced exuberant gestural works, Nakamura was renowned for his minimal canvases characterized by his subdued aesthetic. His austere/organic approach was rooted in his continuous exploration and curiosity in patterns from nature.

This untitled painting epitomizes Nakamura's ethos as an artist. A delicate paradigm of his String painting, this work is from his most radical period lasting from 1955-1965.

The painting features horizontal rows of string affixed to the canvas and painted over in a monochromatic moss/cream. The repetition and texture of the work recall an enlarged sample of plant life, one of Nakamara's classic references to the natural world.  

In 2004, Nakamura was the subject of a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Today, his work is included in permanent collections across Canada including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery (Ottawa). 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720


Canada, 1957

Oil over string on 1/4 hardwood

Signed by artist, bottom left

9"H 6"W (work)

9.5"H 6.75"W (framed)

Very good condition.

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