The gallery is pleased to present Rainy Day Onion Soup, an exhibition of new work by Tokyo-born, Brooklyn-based artist Yui Kugimiya.

Though the paintings on view are pieces in their own right, they are often also a moment in one of the artist’s stop-motion animations, a process that is as central as painting in her work. In many cases, each painting is a frame in a series, a part of a whole. The same canvas is painted over as moments in a narrative are layered on top of each other in succession, each obscuring the last. While the physical consequence of this process is a thick impasto – a unique aesthetic born of process and not style – it also achieves a gripping psychological effect. Knowing that a series of latent images lie beneath the surface creates the sensation of mystery, anxiety, enigma and frustration – all in spite of subject matter that appears lighthearted and unapologetically casual.

Kugimiya’s paintings and animations capture the mundane. It is not a vision of the everyday that is bleak or boring, but rather whimsical. Simple actions - a cat cries (from slicing onion for onion soup), a cat peels the onion skin, a cat reads a book...there is the sound of rain – form the central plot. Competing with the ingenuous charm of these scenarios and subjects, Kugimiya’s moody color scheme imbues these scenes with a brooding energy and a sinister note. The multiple layers of paint, too, communicate heaviness. In these works, the artist explores the tension between light and dark, easy and heavy, by juxtaposing endearing subjects and a material means (to render those subjects) that conveys an existential weariness. The viewer is first captured by subject matter that is inviting and humorous, but soon discovers that the artist’s vision of the world is darker, more complex and complete than what meets the eye.

Yui Kugimiya (b. 1981 Tokyo, Japan) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitions of her work were held at Carroll and Sons in Boston, MA and Galeria Enrique Guerrero in Mexico City, Mexico. Kugimiya’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at Public Screens, Stavanger, Norway; Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris, France, ATM Gallery, New York, and Smith-Stewart @ KUMUKUMU Gallery, New York. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Sagamore Collection in Miami, FL. The artist has been discussed in Art in America and Modern Painters.

Installation View: Yui Kugimiya, Rainy Day Onion Soup, Horton Gallery (SUNDAY L.E.S.), New York

Installation View: Yui Kugimiya, Rainy Day Onion Soup, Horton Gallery (SUNDAY L.E.S.), New York


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