Hideaki Yamanobe

Light on Bright

Solo exhibition by Hideaki Yamanobe ... more >

New, abstract works by Hideaki Yamanobe from 6 November: We are pleased to present Light on Bright, the Japanese painter's fifth solo exhibition in our gallery.


Oliver Tepel on "Hideaki Yamaobe: Light on Bright" in Köln Galerien A-Z, November 2020


A time of quiet openings. On the plus side: they offer concentration on art, small, significant moments that give back something of the life that, during the necessary retreat into the private sphere, cannot be compensated for entirely by looking at books and magazines.

The season began with the walk up to the Biesenbach Gallery, which was well ventilated in the surprisingly mild climate. Despite the early darkness, it seemed almost like a late summer evening, only quieter. No voices or birdsong disturbed the contemplative calm of Hideaki Yamanobe's works. In this way, one could get the impression of hearing music from his works on the piano motif. Graphically abstracting, somewhat related to synthetic cubism, the surfaces take on a life of their own, bringing whirl and restlessness into the sparse elegance of the works. In "Climax – Stringendo Ver. No. 1", horizontal lines run like furrows through the pictorial space, which is reminiscent of clay covered with icing. Fine flaking and cloud-like progressions of the white layer create a static restlessness, which is not tamed by these furrows when viewed up close, but is nevertheless guided.

A similar technique in "Overtone – Two Feelings" leads to an almost tilting moment, which conveys the feelings not only in the contrasting colours, but also in the graphic effect that makes one look at the work constantly in alternating directions from diagonally right to diagonally left. In the titular "Light on Bright" works, it is once again the substance that fascinates, as paint appears mixed with wax, something that could not be created in this way – but with acrylic and sand. But it is not abstract art that reduces itself to the technical. From the shadowy image as in "Horizon" to the allegorical "Two Lives", in which two lines, like ears of corn in a field, tear open the white layer of paint, one looks into life, silent art with a subtle sound."


Hideaki Yamanobe (*1964 in Tokyo, has lived and worked for over 25 years not only in Tokyo but also in Cologne and Düsseldorf) works primarily in a simplified black and white area. Within this seemingly limited colour field he captivates the viewer with his rich study of texture and saturation.

By exploring the boundaries of the finite and infinite, Yamanobe promotes the feeling that the viewer is not looking at his art, but rather looking through it. Smooth washes or layers of paint often convey an ethereal quality that leads the viewer to dive even deeper into his abstract spaces.

In addition to his characteristic "non-coloured" works, Yamanobe also shows new work cycles with Light on Bright, playing with English red colour fields and distinctly abstract-geometric compositions.

Hideaki Yamanobe is a crossover between East Asian and European culture. His interest in media and art forms besides painting – especially his fascination for classical contemporary music, one of his constant sources of inspiration – is expressed in ever new projects. Examples of this are his collaborations with the German star conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher (painting cycle 2017 and exhibition/concert in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg). Yamanobes mainly abstract painting, in which, however, object-like elements always flash up, is known above all for its limited colour spectrum – usually black, white or a fading grey – and recurring structures – cloud-like textures, hard, cut lines in the colour surface or even layers of colour reminiscent of air bubbles.

Hideaki Yamanobes works can be found in numerous private collections in Europe, Asia and America as well as in renowned public collections such as Andaz, Toranomon Hills, Tokyo; Daiwa Bank, Osaka; Ernst Wilhelm Nay Foundation, Cologne; Pola Art Foundation, Tokyo; Städtische Museen, Heilbronn; The University Art Museum, Tokyo.

06/11/2020 – 16/01/2021

Viewing Room



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