Keita Morimoto: Garden of Light

February 6 - 29, 2020

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


Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Keita Morimoto. The exhibition will open on February 6th and run until February 29th with an opening reception on Thursday, February 6th from 6 to 8 pm. This is Morimoto’s third exhibition at the gallery.


“His works are carefully constructed, with objects and people precisely arranged. He is a director, but instead of elucidating a definitive story, he suggests to viewers a narrative — a story that you perhaps already know.”

Maari Sugawara


Keita Morimoto is known for his dramatically lit paintings that pay homage to art history while portraying contemporary youths occupying derelict, urban settings. In his most recent body of work, Garden of Light, Morimoto has focused on the specific genre of nocturne painting. Having previously referenced Edward Hopper’s masterpiece, Nighthawks, Morimoto explores the theme more intensely than ever before. Twilight conveys a sense of mystery, stillness and solitude – a perfect stage for his rebellious subjects. The night also emphasizes  artificial lights emanating from homes and commercial windows, illuminating the city and creating “portals” into other worlds.


At the center of the exhibition is a painting of unprecedented scale and ambition, an eight by eighteen-foot triptych depicting a view looking east from a high rise in downtown Toronto. Morimoto captures the city’s scale and density, meticulously describing every window and street lamp. Impressive in scale alone, each of the panels of the continuous panorama is painted at a different time of day. Morimoto cites Claude Monet’s many paintings of Rouen Cathedral’s façade in various kinds of light as well as the 15th century Japanese artist, Tosa Mitsunobu’s painting of bamboo in four seasons onto one continuous folding wall painting, as his primary inspirations for this groundbreaking work.


Born in 1990 in Osaka, Japan, Keita Morimoto has been living in Canada since he was sixteen. Morimoto has exhibited 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.