Nicholas Metivier Gallery

Keita Morimoto
Light Passage
February 8–March 3, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 8, 6-8 PM

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Keita Morimoto. The exhibition will open on February 8th and run until March 3rd with an opening reception on Thursday, February 8th. This is Morimoto’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Since graduating from Ontario College of Art and Design in 2012, Keita Morimoto has rapidly earned a wide and enthusiastic following for his paintings that combine an eclectic mix of historic, contemporary and personal influences.  Born in Osaka, Japan, he moved to Canada when he was 16 years old for a study abroad program. Seeing the work of Old Masters as well as modern realist painters for the first time in North American museums had a profound impact on Morimoto. His paintings are inspired by their classical compositions and dramatic use of light and dark while subtle references to anime, street fashion and youthful rebellion can be traced back to his Japanese heritage.  

There has been a significant shift in Morimoto’s practice over the last two years. In place of backgrounds appropriated from masterpieces by Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Gainsborough among others, Morimoto photographs and paints gritty areas in downtown Toronto and Etobicoke. The sites are specific, often identifiable by street signs and landmarked intersections. His process of photographing his peers at his studio and then digitally inserting them into various scenarios has not changed but for the first time, his backgrounds are given as much weight and consideration as the characters in his paintings.  This new direction is evidence of a heightened confidence in Morimoto’s work and offers limitless possibilities compositionally.

All these artists, (Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and William Eggleston), make images that take advantage of classically oriented compositions to tell various stories. They depict their own personal experiences while distilling magical and mysterious qualities from banal and ordinary, decrepit and disenchanted scenes. This is the theme I am most interested in and have been exploring for some time now. – Keita Morimoto

Keita Morimoto has exhibited and in Canada and the United States. In 2014, his exhibition Nightwatchers, at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art received much acclaim and in 2016, he was a finalist in the RBC Painting competition. Morimoto will have an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough in the spring of 2018.

For more information on this artist, click here.