Combining early abstraction’s focus on spirituality with a Minimalist grid structure, Inoue creates canvases that are lyrical, austere, and subtle, yet compelling. Channeling a plethora of inspirations from Kazimir Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky to Henri Matisse and Fra Angelico, Inoue’s tactics aptly reflect her sentiment that "good painters understand the importance of clarity of composition and color." At first, the straightforward planar explorations seem simple, but upon closer inspection reveal themselves as methodical palimpsests of color and materiality.
The basic grid structure of Inoue’s work features varied colors and tones that play off of each other, encouraging the eye to bounce around the canvas, seeking nuanced or stark interplays. Each square is achieved by building up multiple layers of different acrylic paints that are resolved into one single shade on the surface, simultaneously providing luminosity, depth and dimension. The squares are articulated at their edges by the recesses run between them like thin canals defining the grid. The result of Inoue’s endeavor is a checkerboard synthesis of tones, shades and colors. Each painting chronicles a private event, a distinct mood, a complex emotion or a subtle feeling.
Born in Japan, Kazuko Inoue moved to the United States in the 1960s, and received her BFA and MFA from Michigan State University. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Northeast and Midwest, and is included in public and corporate collections such as the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Newark Museum, the Mobil Oil Corporation and Bank of America. Inoue lives and works in Pennsylvania.