Nobutoshi Matsuura’s artworks are notable for their smooth, lustrous surface. The glossy texture of each piece is reminiscent of still water, and it is only when their subtle colors rise from the depths to mix together that the brushstrokes within can be thinly discerned, prompting the viewer to reaffirm the work’s existence as a painting.

Since the modernist period, abstract painting has largely been divided into two conceptual categories, “warm” and “cool”. A clear predecessor can been in the works of Mondrian and other artists who gradually scraped away elements from the frame and sought a pure form of painting using geometric expressions. Following them came painters like Dubuffet and Kandinsky, who actively projected bodily movements onto the canvas and evoked strong human emotions through the free application of color.

In the world of abstraction, these two concepts are not necessarily in opposition and can even be combined in a single piece. Matsuura’s artworks fall into that grouping. Just as their effervescent hues are suppressed by the solid, transparent surface layers on which they are rendered, his paintings lean sharply in the direction of the “warmly abstract” while maintaining a cerebral, “cool abstract” aura in their outer appearance. It is extremely fascinating how, in doing so, they also become a reflection of human beings themselves.

Stemming from the artist’s desire to find beauty in chance events and his stubbornly simplistic decades-long pursuit of a single form of expression, Matsuura’s works are sure to provide viewers with a sublime experience.

We hope you will come experience the sheer beauty of Nobutoshi Matsuura’s artistic universe for yourself.

Yellow 558
h100 × w72.7 cm
Acrylic, oil, resin


When we take on a new challenge, there are often moments when coincidental factors lead to unexpected success. Though this is now ancient history for me, I once spilled red paint, diluted in flow improver, on a white corrugated iron plate. When I looked down at what I had done, I was astonished. The result was incredibly beautiful, a glowing red liquid surface without any trace of brushwork.

It was this event that inspired me to begin using liquid paints. When I spread the diluted liquid paint on a panel fit with white corrugated iron, the hardened strokes left by my brushwork would disappear, leaving a deep, transparent red to emerge. That depth came with subtle variations and as I proceeded with production, I continued experimenting through trial and error. However, that did not last long. As time passed after the paintings were complete, fine wrinkles began to cover the entire surface of the plates and other problems developed too, such as cracks, peeling, or dissolution in the summer months. There were even some pieces that deformed in shape several years later. As I struggled with these concerns, it occurred to me that flow improvers include a lot of natural resins and I wondered what would happen if I used synthetic resins instead. After experimenting with a number of different resin varieties, and suffering a number of setbacks, I gradually approached the painting style I use now. At present, I thinly dilute the paints in transparent resin and apply multiple layers to achieve a surface with greater depth. My goal is to create paintings that explore color itself as a material.

09/12/2022(fri) -  21/12/2022(wed)

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