Manika Nagare

Jonathan Goodman, Tussle Magazine, February 28, 2021

Manika Nagare is a mid-career Japanese painter whose highly colorful work might best be described as a hybrid between color field and abstract expressionist painting. The phrase “In Between” corresponds to a state of Independence flanked on either side by differing concepts: color and form, feeling and thought, Asian and Western influences. Additionally, Nagare had the powerful experience of taking care of her father as he was dying, that is, existing in between the very narrow middle ground between life and death. In Japan, death is often characterized as crossing a river poised between existence and non-existence. Seeing her father pass away has influenced Nagare’s beautiful paintings just as deeply as the physical attributes of her stylistic decisions. Other questions, such as the influence of Western painting styles--Nagare lived in America for some time--are important as technical inquiries, but the works move us primarily because of intense feeling, introduced by vivid colors, that convey the artist’s emotional and spiritual life.


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