Visionary paintings of imaginary landscapes that transcend time and place.
The visionary paintings of Minoru Nomata depict imaginary landscapes that transcend time and place. Featuring architectural superstructures and topographical forms devoid of human presence, his uncanny depictions are portals into mysterious and uncertain worlds.
Coming from a family who ran a business dyeing kimono fabrics, Nomata grew up in Tokyo’s industrial district of Meguro during a period of rapid urban and economic growth in Japan. Amidst this evolving landscape, he became fascinated by the structural design of factories, chimneys, and water towers throughout his hometown, which would eventually lead him to create his own architectural depictions.
Nomata has drawn upon a vast array of references in his work: from elements of Greek and Roman architecture to tropes from Medieval and Renaissance painting; from the machine-age aesthetic of the American ‘precisionist’ painter Charles Sheeler to the ambient musical compositions of Erik Satie and Brian Eno. Underpinning this wide-reaching vocabulary is a continuing search for unseen dimensions within each of the landscapes that he creates, which are as strangely familiar as they are prophetic. While conjured from the artist’s imagination as science-fictional renderings of reality, the worlds that Nomata depicts are always rooted in a familiar visual language, one of collective memory and a shared sense of responsibility for the environments that we inhabit.
For this solo exhibition, Nomata’s first outside of Asia, he has responded to the architecture of our Grade I listed building through a site-specific display that reflects its modernist structure whilst also connecting to its nautical setting. Demarcating the gallery is a series of wooden mast-like display structures connected above by a network of wire support, imitating the forms and sightlines one would encounter whilst navigating a shipyard.
Presented across each mast and the surrounding walls is a selection of works made over the last thirty years, which evidence Nomata’s blending of the industrial with the fantastical, the archaic and the futuristic. Brutalist in beauty, aerodynamic in form and ambient in their atmosphere, Nomata’s landscapes are meditations on an ever-changing world and vehicles to alternative futures.