Etsuko Montgomery – painter and print-maker
Etsuko Montgomery is a British-trained and London-based painter and print-maker whose distinctive fusion of East and West art practice is the result of both lengthy acquisition of technical skills and experimental development. The print-making and painting cross-influence each other.
In both her painting and printmaking, Etsuko often uses Japanese calligraphy as part of mark-making but without the necessary intention that it will be read. However, some of the characters which she uses are legible ancient Japanese Iroha.
Floating such calligraphic marking upon canvas, board and paper comes naturally to Etsuko from the traditional Japanese absorption in the high-art aesthetics of calligraphy. Equally her emphasis upon the limited palette can be seen from the perspective of traditional descent.
However – and distinctively so – Etsuko’s keen academic interest in the works of the American abstract expressionists is immediately apparent in her fascination with fluid and layering effects and turning calligraphy into graffiti. This tendency towards semi-abstraction therefore sees the work breaking free from rigid formalities within traditional Japanese design although these are usually residually referenced.
My painting and print-making can be described as occupying ground between figuration and abstraction. I often use elements such as calligraphy, letters and numbers in an effect which links to my personal emotions and memories, spiritual experience and Japanese culture. My paintings and prints are a kind of representation of an aura of both spiritual and natural landscapes. I am particularly interested in the possibilities of the limited palette for expressing subtle colours and emotions.
Born in Osaka Japan, now living and working in London
2001 – 2002 Camberwell College of Art, MA in Printing
1997 – 2000 City & Guilds Art School, BA Hons 1st Class, Fine Art
1995 – 1997 South Thames College, Diploma in Fine Art
Selected / Recent Exhibitions
2016 Shows in New York and Hong Kong, Fine Art
2015 Spring Show – Highgate Contemporary Art
2015 Shows in New York and Hong Kong , Fine Art
2013 Group Show – Flowers – Store St Gallery, Bloomsbury.
2013 Two Person Show at Highgate Contemporary Art
2010 Royal Academy of Arts, London, Summer Exhibition
Originals ’10 Contemporary Printmaking Show Mall
2009 Connect Two, Smithfield Gallery, London, sponsored
by Embassy of Japan: Japan/UK 150
2009/8/7 Art London, Chelsea Royal Hospital with Fine
2008/9Floating Odyssey Group Show, London, Tokyo, Seoul
2007/6/3/ Demonstrator and exhibitor, Art in Action,
2007 Modern Works on Paper, Royal Academy, London
2005 Chichester Open Art Exhibition, Hampshire
2004 The Sheridan Russell Gallery, London W1
Originals, ’04 Contemporary Printmaking Show Mall
2003 Gallery Omotesando, Tokyo – solo show
2002 The Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Art
RK Burt Gallery, Southwark, London
2001 The Discerning Eye, Mall Gallery, London
British Art Now, ‘The Japanese Way’, South
Moulton Lane, London
2000 The Hunting Art Prize, Royal Collegeof Art,
The Contemporary Print Show, Barbican Centre,
2000 Print-making Prize, City & Guilds School of
1999 Daley Rowney Student Showcase, Third Prize
Philip ConnardTravel Award, City & Guilds Art
Barclaycard Drawing Award, Second Prize, Northampton University
May, 2007 Celeste Art Prize, painting “And So We
Rise” selected for catalogue
April, 2004 Front cover, Risk magazine
July, 2002 Art World magazine, (Korea)
Work in Public Collections
British Museum, Print Collection
Dept for Education and Employment
The Sheridan Russell Gallery