The word Études comes from the French word “to study,” and refers to a short, but considerably difficult, music composition designed to pose as practice material for perfecting a particular musical skill. Much like these technically challenging music compositions, Boston based expat, Kenji Nakayama’s newest body of paintings depict work that can only be created and mastered by a person long dedicated to his craft.

Nakayama, who has devoted the past decade to mastering pinstriping and traditional sign-painting after moving from Japan to Boston in 2004, will show his new series entitled, “Études,” at Fourth Wall Project starting today, with an opening reception this Friday, April 18. Nakayama, known for using repurposed items to paint on and incorporate in his artwork, will show forty-nine brand new abstract paintings that not only nod to his Japanese heritage, but exhibit his undeniable talent as a seasoned calligraphic painter. Each piece, done either on black paper or repurposed wood or metal, focuses largely on precise line work, limited color palettes, and simple textures.

Nakayama’s artwork, which mustered a lot of public attention when he started his, “Signs for the Homeless” project, can be seen all over Boston, including a public mural done for Converse’s Wall to Wall series at Fringe Union in Somerville, and  has quickly garnered attention for its unique style that incorporates Japanese and American influences within traditional sign painting techniques. Nakayama, who’s unprecedented work ethic and dedication to his craft has become well-respected amongst his peers and critics alike, uses his painting and artwork as a personal narrative to what he sees and responds to in his daily life.

Kenji Nakayama’s first solo show, “Études,” runs from April 14 to May 18th with an opening reception this Friday from 7-9pm.

[All images by Kenji Nakayama via tumblr]

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