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Takahiko Hayashi
Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Takahiko Hayashi, "Vibes in the Lines D-17.Jul.2019," 2019, ink, acrylic on gampi paper, 26 x 20"

Continuing through November 30, 2019


Japan-based artist Takahiko Hayashi brings a background in printmaking to the mixed-media drawings in his winsomely titled exhibition, “Vibes in the Lines.”  Central to the charm of these ink and acrylic works (all 2017-2019) are the handmade papers on which he lays down his semi-abstract compositions. A suite of four pieces, each 26 1/4 by 21 inches on gampi sukijimai paper, captures the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the acceptance of imperfection. Crumpled and distressed, with tape repairs where the papers have torn, the pieces — three drawings and one copperplate engraving — have a weathered quality which mirrors the actions of time on patinas, ancient buildings, and aging human faces. 


Hayashi’s imagery offers teasing hints of natural referents. The glowing, levitating, vaguely vegetal mass in “D-7.Mar.2019 (The Lines in Red)” resembles not so much a Japanese-garden shrub as it does Moses’s burning bush of biblical lore. “Vibes in the Lines D-17.Jul.2019” suggests intricately intertwined tree branches or a kaleidoscopic view of a ribcage in infinite regress. The swirling “Considering Lao-tse (Ch. 20)” evokes the waves and clouds of Edo-era “Floating World” woodblock prints. Perhaps the most sumptuous drawing is the least representational. “D-6.Jan.2018 (The Sound of Lines)” is an étude on overlapping circles punctuated by tiny holes poked in the paper that are outlined in white and bright green. It is an intimate, immaculate masterpiece.

Froelick Gallery

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