In his new body of work, Garden of Light, Japanese artist Keita Morimoto continues to explore the theme of Edward Hopper's masterpiece, Nighthawks. But this time, he focuses on the stillness and solitude of twilight.
In previous work, his paintings focus on young people in derelict urban settings, often in the dead of night. More recently, he's been looking at how the setting sun creates the perfect stage for his rebellious subjects, giving us a fascinating glimpse into their nocturnal worlds.
On show at Toronto's Nicholas Metivier Gallery from 6 February, the exhibition features 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 streetlamp. 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.