While working in New York City, gallerist Mindy Solomon met Osamu Kobayashi and Paul Pagk. She instantly sensed a connection between the two artists' contemporary works. As fate would have it, Pagk later reached out to Kobayashi, and they agreed to collaborate.
When it came time to choose a place, both knew "Project Space" would be best exhibited at Solomon’s Miami gallery.
Though their works are undoubtedly complementary, there are juxtapositions both in the paintings and the artists themselves that make them vastly different. As Solomon sees it, both artists' have "a cerebral resonance that interacts with the visible minimalism of their oil-on-linen and -canvas work."
Pagk, who is of Czech and English origin, remembers seeing Kobayashi’s paintings in New York and feeling moved. He knew then that working together was inevitable.
However, he is quick to point out the differences that may not be so obvious to the unassuming spectator. His work and artistic experience is "an ongoing person on an ongoing pictorial adventure," the artist said at the exhibit's opening reception. This fluidity certainly comes through in his paintings.
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Although Pagk's pieces are often linear, an organic embodiment informs them. "I don’t use tape, even when all I am drawing is lines. I build the lines to where I need them to be and form the color around them, adding shadows where I see fit. I want my work to reflect my commitment to the internal self and this process is the best way to achieve that.”
By contrast, American painter Kobayashi’s works look much different. Though minimalistic like Pagk’s, his are much brighter and almost whimsical. Kobayashi’s process is so involved he claims it can take him a while to finish a piece. “While painting might only take three to four hours, it can take me weeks to come up with an idea, and days after the fact editing," he explained. "It’s a waiting game."
The joint exhibition has elevated Kobayashi's artistry — he claims he felt "a lot more focused" when concentrating for "Project Space." One piece in particular, Break, is a gray canvas with a colorful dial not unlike a clock's. He didn’t want to define it as just a clock; however, for the sake of emphasis, he says, he pushed himself to do so.
The styles of both artists, though admittedly different, blended and captivate onlookers. There’s no telling if both artists will join forces with Solomon again, but if this exhibition is any indication, there's hope.
Osamu Kobayashi and Paul Pagk: "Project Space"
Through May 7 at Mindy Solomon Gallery. Visit mindysolomon.com.