Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in India, of internationally renowned artist Leiko Ikemura. Born in Japan, Ikemura has been living and working in Europe since 1972. The curation of paintings, sculptures, drawings and lithographs in the exhibition, which were made during the period 1997 to 2013, allows for a fascinating engagement with the plastic intensity of Ikemura's creative process, integrated with her emphasis on revisiting Japanese and Asian thinking.
Ikemura's lying figures and heads in glazed terracotta or in bronze are indicative of the mastery she possesses over her medium. She retains the ephemerality of human nature and form, the fragility of being, conveying these by holding in fine balance, states of slumber and wakefulness.
Across media, Ikemura speaks of an 'in-between-ness', which connects reality and a longing for eternity. It is evident in her paintings, rendered in thinly applied tempera on the finest jute. Broad bands of colour that originate at the top and bottom of the picture plane conjoin, the line creating the only 'object' in the painting.
In her watercolours shown here, she presents a 'Portrait Gallery'. It is almost as if these faces - that range from the historical to the contemporary - have come into being despite the artist having extended so fully, the medium's values of lightness and fluidity. Similar moments, in which imagination leads to the appearance of a presence, are held within her pastel and charcoal drawings. The strokes - at times gentle and smooth, at others powerful - are rendered on multiple sheets of translucent paper, the final image formed through layering.
Leiko Ikemura's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums and institutions globally besides being part of important group shows. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include 'Leiko Ikemura: Ceramic Sculptures and Related Works', the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Japan (2014); 'Our People, Our Place, Our Time', Grand Opening of The Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum, Iowa, USA (2014); 'Leiko Ikemura, Prelude. A Dialogue with Utagawa Hiroshige', solo exhibition at Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, Germany, opening August 2015; and the '20th Triennale Grenchen 2015', Ausstellungshalle Grenchen, Switzerland, opening September 2015.
In 2014, Leiko Ikemura was awarded the Cologne Fine Art Prize. She lives and works in Cologne and Berlin.