Rakuko Naito

Rakuko  Naito



Rakuko Naito was born in Tokyo, Japan, and attended Ferris Girls School from 1958 to 1954. She graduated from the Tokyo National University of Art in 1958, where she majored in traditional Japanese painting. Following graduation, she moved to New York and briefly attended the Art Students League in search of a less conventional method of working. During the mid-1960s, Naito moved away from textured oil paintings. Through a friend, she met Abstract Expressionist artist Sam Francis, who introduced her to acrylic paint. Working with acrylics, spray paint, and masking tape she created work that emphasized flatness and downplayed the artists hand. She also experimented with integrating such materials as sand, nails, and wire into her geometric, colorless works to explore texture and materiality. Her first solo exhibition was at the World House Gallery, New York, in 1965. In addition to exhibiting throughout the United States, she has shown at the Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan; The Gimpel-Hanover and André Emmerich Galerien, Zurich, Renate Bender, Munich, Germany, and Denise Cade Gallery, Paris. Her work has been included in Motion and Movement (contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1964) and Black & White (Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut, 1966).

Rakuko Naito’s work is held in the Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, Florida; Kemper Art Collection, Chicago; Roland Gibson Art Foundation, State University of New York at Potsdam, New York; and Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an artist in Residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in 2003. She continues to explore the possibilities of different materials, and in her recent works she frequently uses Japanese paper. Rakuko Naito lives and works in New York.




Material, Shape and Texture:

My Interest has been always shape and texture, shape of geometry and shape of nature.

Materials I choose are mostly organic natural materials. Paper, metal or sometimes pieces of woods.

I feel natural forms and textures have a reality that can not be competed by trying to paint or drawn by hand.  I try to experiment and manipulate materials to create my own world.

I don’t try to tell stories of politics or social problems, my concern is purely art and visual stimulation.




Tokyo, Japan 1937


B.F.A. Tokyo National University of Art, Tokyo, Japan
1958 Resident of New York City since 1958


2013           Weber Fine Art. Greenwich, CT
2012            “Nature Constructed”, Curated by Michael Klein, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY
2009           Thoughts in Circles & Squares: Noma Gallery, San Francisco, CA
                   Permutation-Variant-Structure: Curated by Elisabeth Akkerman, Maiden Lane
                               exhibition space, New York, NY
2007           Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany
2004            “Art Paris”, by Denise Cade Gallery, Paris, France
2003           Tamada Project, Tokyo, Japan
                   Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany
2001           Denise Cade Gallery, “Works of and with, but not on, Paper”, New York, NY
1992           Sakura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan.
1982           Gimpel+Hanover & Andre Emmerich Galerien, Zurich, Switzerland
1981           Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
1978           Charleston Art Museum of Sunrise, Charleston, WV
1972           Henri Gallery, Washington D.C.
1965           North Truro Art Gallery, North Truro, MA
1965           World House Gallery, New York, NY


2015          “Re-Op: ‘The Responsive Eye’ Fifty Years After” David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
                   “Op Infinitum: 'The Responsive Eye' Fifty Years After (Part I and Part II)” David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2013           Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI.
                   “Inter Weaving”, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY
                   Gebert Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
                   “Papierwelten II”, Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany
2012            “Paper and More”, Curated by Renate Bender, QuadrART, Dornbirn, Austria
2011            “Breathing”, The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, NY
2010            “1960s Revisited”, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2010            “The Responsive Mind”, Madron Gallery, Chicago, IL
2009           International Women Artists’ Biennale at Incheon, Korea, Curated by Soojung Hyun
2008            “The Winter Salon – Works on Paper”, Bjorn Ressle Gallery, New York, NY
                   “New American Abstraction 1960 - 1975” Gary Snyder Project Space, New York, NY
2007            “Papierwelten” Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany
                   “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s” Curated by Joe Houston, Columbus
                               Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
                   “Optical Edge”, Curated by Robert C. Morgan, Pratt Institute Gallery, New York, NY
2006            “Honest Echo”, Curated by J. Grace Rim, 2X13 Gallery, New York, NY
2005            “Neutral”, The Lab Gallery at Roger Smith, Curated by Robert C. Morgan,
                               New York, NY
                   “Papier=Kunst 5” Neuen Kunstvereins Aschaffenburg, Germany
                   “Horsefeathers Etc..” Curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos, Tenri Foundation,
                               New York, NY
2004            “Resounding Spirit” the Gibson Gallery, State University of NY, Potsdam, NY
                   “Monocromos, Variaciones Sobre El Tema” Curated by Barbara Rose, Museo Nacional
                               Centre De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
2002            “20 Years Anniversary Show” Denise Cade Gallery, New York, NY
                   “Samadhi” Curated by Robert C. Morgan. Chelsea Art Museum. New York, NY
2000            “Perceptions: Solitude Shared” Salena Gallery, Long Island University, New York, NY
1999           Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany
1994           Sakura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
1993            “A Moment Becomes Eternity”, Curated by Michael Walls. Bergen Museum, NJ
1987            “In the Natural World”, Olympia & York, Park Ave Atrium, New York, NY
1984           Robert Brown Contemporary Art, Washington DC
1980            “An American Flower Show”, Curated by J. Frederic Cain, Sandwich, MA
1979           Nancy Roth Gallery, Katonah, NY
1974            “Tokyo International Biennale”, Tokyo, Japan
1966            “Black & White”, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT
1965            “Five Painters”, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1964           Southampton Art Gallery East, New York, NY
                   “Old Hundred”, Opening Exhibition. The Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT
                   Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
                   “Mortion & Movement”, The Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH
1962           Jerald Morris International Gallery, Toronto, Canada


The Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL
Kemper Art Collection, Chicago, IL
Roland Gibson Art Foundation, State University at Potsdam, Potsdam, NY
Wellesley College Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA


2003           Invitation by The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, CT