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LOT 049

1926 - 2002

Spring Reflections
oil on board
signed and dated 1957 and on verso signed, titled on a label, dated and inscribed "Toronto" and "$650"
36 x 47 in 91.4 x 119.4 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

Sold for: $61,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Private Collection
Sold sale of Important Canadian Art, Sotheby's Canada, May 24, 2012, lot 42
Private Collection, Toronto

Bryce Kanbara, “Japanese Canadians in the Arts,” essay accompanying Being Japanese Canadian: Reflections on a Broken World, Royal Ontario Museum exhibition, 2019, page 2, https://www.rom.on.ca/sites/default/files/imce/exhibitions/bjc/japanese_canadians_in_the_arts.pdf, accessed August 18, 2020

In the 1950s, Kazuo Nakamura was working against the grain, in a methodical and linear kind of Abstract Expressionism. While his Painters Eleven colleagues gravitated towards the flashy and bold, Nakamura exercised restraint, and within this restraint, one finds a profound beauty. That beauty is particularly remarkable considering Nakamura’s Japanese-Canadian roots and his experience in an internment camp, where he resided until the age of 15. Bryce Kanbara mentions these paintings briefly in a recent essay, writing that years later, when Nakamura was living in Toronto, “he produced an extended series of pale-green, abstract landscapes based on recollections of a lake he often visited to find solace from life in the camp.” This is a hopeful and reflective series of works, which dictated the direction Nakamura took in his painting for years afterward.

Spring Reflections, from the prime Painters Eleven period, is a layered and delicate painting in which the subtlety of the chartreuse hue illuminates the fine outlines of deciduous leaf buds, contrasted against the darker shade of evergreens. Looking closely, you see the hint of the trees’ reflections in the water. Nakamura was fascinated by the universal patterns found in nature and painted these phenomena often.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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