Winston Wächter Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Act of Drawing, a selection of recent works by Etsuko Ichikawa. Please join us for our opening reception with the artist on Wednesday, September 10 from 6 – 8 pm.
Etsuko Ichikawa presents new work from her ongoing and most recent series, Glass Pyrograph and Aquagraph, or drawings of fire and water. Ichikawa’s long scrolls of heavy, charcoal stained paper are made up of gestural lines, wispy shadows, and sinuous curves that record the hand of the artist and testify to the dramatic technique with which they are created.
For her Glass Pyrographs, Ichikawa stands purposefully above the paper, making sweeping, expressive gestures with molten glass on the paper’s surface. Her performative technique requires that she work quickly and deliberately to avoid the paper catching fire. For her Aquagraphs, Ichikawa uses drops of water to create an invisible drawing on paper. She then scorches the image with candle soot to reveal the hidden image, thus using two seemingly incompatible elements to create artwork.
Ichikawa’s unconventional use of glass allows her to hover in the space between the fleeting moment and the permanent; she moves from the ephemerality of fire and molten glass to the permanence of charcoal. She writes, “What lies in-between the ephemeral and the eternal has been the underlying concept of all my work, and this innovative process using fire allows me to record the immediacy of the moment.” When creating her Aquagraphs, she often includes Sanskrit texts. In doing so, she incorporates the most ancient language, a linguistic ingredient that she says bridges the past and present. “I consider my process of making as primitive because I use my hands and also elements like fire and water.”
Etsuko Ichikawa moved to Seattle in 1993 to study glass at Pilchuck Glass School. She worked for Dale Chihuly before becoming a full-time artist in 2003. She has received numerous awards and has exhibited her work in major museums, including the Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo, Seattle Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, and University of Wyoming Art Museum.