A show that will focus on the way two abstract artists paint in vastly different styles, the upcoming exhibition at Benjamin Eck II will present the works of Juan Zurita and Akihito Takuma. Their paintings will be put under the microscope in the following few months, as the visitors will have the chance to see why these two contemporary masters of abstraction are so praised so highly in the world of art.
Juan Zurita is a Spanish multidisciplinary artist with a keen interest in relating the practice of painting with media such as photography and video.
On the other hand, Zurita's colleague for the upcoming show, Japanese artist Akihito Takuma creates pieces adorned with a fantastic abstract note that does not completely compromise the identifiable visuals and forms of the pictorial composition.
The upcoming show at Benjamin Eck II will primarily focus on Juan Zurita's Traffic series that reviews the landscape while using it as a social metaphor. These works are, in many ways, reflections of the position of the image in today’s society and the transformation it had to endure after the evolution of the digital world.
The Traffic pieces are made with a hybrid approach that combines traditional pictorial techniques with digital sketches. As far as this series is concerned, the repertoire of base images was selected from traffic and street cameras. By deconstructing and overlapping layers of the image, Juan Zurita completely transformed the initial pictures before he free-handed the digital sketches onto a canvas, film and tape.
This series of works is a clear demonstration of what preoccupies the artist's creative mind. He wishes to explore the idea of found images being transformed into abstract compositions by manipulating their layers with multiple techniques. He is also interested in toying with the viewers' sense of perception.
Although he definitely does not have the same level of creative complexity as Zurita in terms of his artistic process, Akihito Takuma has a very interesting backstory to how he came up with the way he paints. After a year in Europe where he studied painting, Takuma began realizing how easier it was for the color to dry there than in Japan, mainly because of the high humidity of the Eastern country. Becoming aware of the environmental differences between the two places, the artist came up with a new method.
Before the paint dries, Akihito Takuma takes what can best be described as a huge comb and drives through the canvas, particularly aiming at the segments that are still wet. Such a practice creates fine vertical lines that abstract an initially figurative work and thus create a new tension. Prepared for the upcoming show at Benjamin Eck II are the works from the Lines of Flight series, all created in that way.
These two artists with unorthodox practices are, although definitely gathered under the same banner of abstraction, miles apart when it comes to their final visuals and manners of creating. And that's precisely why they are such a good match for exhibitions in a shared space.
The shows of works by Juan Zurita and Akihito Takuma will be taking place between the 16th of November, 2017 and the 6th of January, 2018 in the halls of the Galerie Benjamin Eck II in Munich, Germany.
Featured images: Akihito Takuma - Lines of Flight, 2012 and 2008; Juan Zurita - Traffic 4, 2017. All images courtesy of Galerie Benjamin Eck.