Modern Art

Modern Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Trevor Shimizu. This is Shimizu’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Using paint as a means to engage with his environment, Trevor Shimizu’s work has always taken its cues from whatever subject is at hand” – a sentiment famously attributed to impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard. Over the past several years Shimizu’s environment has changed. Whereas his earlier work reflected the roles taken up and activities that filled his life in New York City, his recent paintings are a means of processing his life and studio now oriented away from the metropolis and situated on the Hudson River. His current landscape paintings, as such, are made with and through his various modes of contact – both psychic and physical – with his surroundings. Recalling the interminable interest in, for example, the changing light of the scenery that drove the work of the Hudson River School painters, Shimizu’s recent works are preoccupied with the limitlessness of material possibilities in the landscape, or the working through of different colour combinations on the canvas. On their large scale, and painted ambidextrously, Shimizu’s technical approach to these works is embodied; the physical act of painting evident in their construction. In this way his recent work is influenced as much by the corporeal performativity of abstract expressionism as it is the choreographic and conceptual performance practices of the post-war period. 

Shimizu’s new body of work for Modern Art is made with a particular attention given to the passing of time. Each landscape is painted from memory, showing the process of his mind’s recording and preserving of visual information from the past, processed in the present, with a view to their evolving future existences; much like the slow work of mulching leaves and sowing of seeds in a garden. Painted during winter, the spring wildflowers in two of Shimizu’s new works are conjured from his recollection, just as the atmospheres of autumn in the leaf mulch works are revivified experiences of his day-to-day, hands-on engagement with his surroundings. But underlying this interest in representation there is, too, a connection to the abstraction of colour field painting. Some landscapes — such as those picturing the river, palisades, and sky — begin with three bands of colour, which are then complicated with seemingly incongruous brushwork and figurative content layered atop, while in others brilliant hues of ochre or sky blues form the backdrop to the detail that is portrayed over their surface.

Trevor Shimizu was born in 1978 in California, and he lives in New York. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels (2022); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2020); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal (2019); The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; the Rowhouse Project, Baltimore (2015); and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions at White Columns, New York (2015, 2011); the Whitney Biennial, New York (2014); and the Queens Museum of Art, New York (2012). Shimizu’s work is included in public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; and High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

For more information, please contact Pascale de Graaf (pascale@​modernart.​net).