Morton Fine Art | Hiromitsu Kuroo Hope Brew

By East City Art Editorial Team on April 16, 2024

Sat, April 20 2024 — Sat, May 18 2024

Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art.
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 20 from 2-4pm

Thinned and sharpened by his use of bleach, the color and forms in Kuroo’s works evince a state of long endurance and erosion. Alongside pandemic necessity, inspiration for the bleach paintings sprung from a memorable 2014 camping trip Kuroo took through Utah and Colorado in the western United States. Viewing many Native American murals, Kuroo was struck both by their artistry and the weathering the works endured outdoors. Explaining his bleach painting process, Kuroo has underscored the importance of restraint and minimal use of paint: “I make the works primarily with bleach, using as little paint as possible. The ability to create beauty out of limited expression is a characteristic of Japanese culture expressed through many art forms, and as a painter working in the manner of the Origami tradition of paper folding, I wanted to carry that feature into my practice.” The canvas serves like paper where the gentle manipulation of its surface conveys intricate textural landscapes.

Moving from New York City in 2021 (where the artist lived for 18 years) to Saitama, Japan, Kuroo has continued his Bleach Paintings. Hope Brew collects work from the Japan-based period of the series. Building upon his early works, which tended to be smaller works on canvas, Kuroo now incorporates three-dimensional forms in his paintings, adding an expression of light and shadow, as in Bleach C (2024). Seemingly monochromatic, save for some gray smudges and faded blue lines resembling painter’s tape, the work reveals brilliant and unexpected color, shade and texture within its folds and panels. Consisting of a grid-like vertical base overlaid with a pinwheel arrangement of attached panels, Bleach C’s collaged forms and layers of battered paint give way to glimpses of green, yellow, sky-blue, gray and faded white, bruise-like smears and sheets of color. The expression of the soft bleached linen canvas and the sharp contrast of colors and shadows mix well together to create the large (34 x22 in.) work.

The Bleach Paintings command a sense of enduring brilliance and charged resilience, evoking the wan, but indelible-seeming colors and relics of industry while also gesturing to natural forms of entropy and decay. Suggesting a battery of actions, time and rigor, the works in Hope Brew exude an atmosphere of time and story.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302