New Color Work
November 17, 2007 - January 12, 2008
Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Japanese photographer Toshio Shibata. This will be Shibata’s first exhibition of his recent color photography at Gallery Luisotti. Known as the foremost landscape photographer currently working in Japan, Shibata’s new color work only furthers his mastery of photographic composition. In these recent works, Shibata’s signature topographic aesthetic integrates the muted yet dynamic tones of suburban and rural Japan, allowing for an entirely new level of intriguing visual information to be found in those places Shibata has made us so familiar with.
Renowned for his mastery of black-and-white photography, Shibata’s recent turn to color photography is at once surprising while entirely fulfilling. In the black and white photographs of landscapes Shibata has created since the late 1970s, he has explored the formal characteristics of the Japanese landscape. Particular drawn to areas where roadways, sub-developments, irrigation and waterworks wind their way through untouched nature, Shibata has had a keen eye for the peculiarly abstract forms of Japanese suburban sprawl. His skillful use of black-and-white photography essentially transforms these landscapes into a playful maze of contrasts and geometric constructions.
Shibata’s color work is not a break with the black-and-white work he has become so well known for, but rather an evolution of his aesthetic. To his interest in the geometric abstraction of the built landscape, we can now add a subtle layer of color. These colors create a vibrant surface to Shibata’s images. His compositions become both simple and complex patterns of man-made structure and natural greenery, whose allure holds a delicate intricacy similar to post-minimalist Richard Tuttle’s aggregate and multi-textural drawings. The color works evince Shibata’s full maturation as a photographer.