Masae Uezumi

         Masae Uezumi is a painter who is especially able to convey multiple expressions of experiences, both simultaneously and sequentially, in a single work. From Japan, Ms. Uezumi delivers the content of her art from periodic visits to America. She is a keen observer of various dwellings, doorways and environments in three cities, New York City, Philadelphia and most recently - Santa Fe, New Mexico. These locations have provided the artist with points of departure for her thoughtful and romantic paintings. Entrances, walls, roofs, and streets in these American locations, east and west invites us to the artist's intimate and private interpretation of life, essentially through intimate aspects of its architecture.

         For the past decade, Ms. Uezumi has become known for her small-scale oil paintings of houses and/or streets, which are then arranged together to form a large single work on the wall. In effect, they then become parts of a village, an alley, or even vast scenery, seen separately or simultaneously. Her use of color and line is indeed her own. Uezumi's recent works, the Santa Fe series, are particularly singular with their waves of shimmering yellows and ochres, accentuated by blue and green silhouette lines. They capture our imaginations and nostalgia so effortlessly and swiftly that we are apt to find ourselves, visually, in well-told children's tales or long-forgotten, but salient, worlds. They are clear and direct, while sustaining warmth and softness. They affirm and reassure.

         The power of Uezumi's painting lines lies in the way the artist unfolds a subject. Her work is well conceived, designed and composed. Thus, what appears to be a story told with ease and facility is the result of a strenuous adjustments of color, form, subjects and space. Her color is always luminous through the application of multiple layers of transparent oil glazes and scumbling. Uezumi's use of simplifies form is rooted in her drawing sense, which provides the foundation for all that follows. Crucially, the artists unifies her content with how she gives expressions to it. Content and form become difficult to separate.

         Masae Uezumi is an artist who is deeply interested in life around her and who makes art out of her own experiences as they are projected into environments. She reminds us that reality is seen in the mind. It does not depend on entirely on appearances. Uezumi's paintings suggest that life supports multiple universe that possess and reveal treasures. Her paintings yield a positive fondles for making ordinary moments exemplary. Her art is transformative, poetic and instructional. Masae Uezumi's art allows us to continuously contemplate stories that become our own.

Willo Doe

Willo Doe - February 2004
Willo Doe is an art critic and museum essayist based in New York City.