Rakuko Naito

Rakuko Naito 1937

Lives in New York. Works in New York.
Represented by:


For the past three decades, Rakuko Naito has dedicated her artistic work to research into the malleability and strength of kozo washi, a traditional Japanese paper. Naito has experimented with many different methods and materials, all with the same dedication to organization and inventiveness. During the early 60s, after moving from Tokyo to New York, she made optical art and experimented with acrylic paint, spray paint and masking tape. Eventually she found her style in the delicate, monochromatic paper assemblages that she still makes. With an innate preference for order and structure, Naito joins a circle of artists such as Mel Bochner, Eve Hesse and Sol LeWitt. Naito: "I feel that natural forms and structures have a reality that cannot be competed by trying to paint or draw by hand. I try to experiment and manipulate materials to create my own world.” As a result, Naito has found a niche that offers room for her ideas that lie in the middle of our notion of 'drawing' and 'sculptures'. Naito, born in Tokyo, Japan in 1937, studied at the Tokyo National University of Art. After graduating, she moved to New York in 1958, where she has been living and working ever since. Naito's first solo exhibition was in 1965 at the World House Gallery in New York. Naito's work is represented in numerous galleries and public collections in the United States, Europe and Japan, including the Kemper Art Collection (Chicago), Miami-Dade Community College (Miami), The Larry Aldrich Museum (Ridge Eld, CT), the Roland Gibson Art Foundation (SUNY Potsdam) and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an artist in residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in 2003. In 2016, the Karuizawa New Art Museum (Karuizawa, Japan) dedicated a solo exhibition to her work.

Market position


Rakuko Naito interviewed by Wang Yuling, 2019


Tokyo, Japan 1937 B.F.A. Tokyo National University of Art, Tokyo, Japan Resident of New York City since 1958 SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2017 “Tearing, Rolling, Folding”, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY 2016 “Rakuko Naito Exhibition”, Karuizawa New Art Museum, Karuizawa, Japan “Rakuko Naito Exhibition”, Whitestone Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 2013 Weber Fine Art, Greenwich, CT 2012 “Nature Constructed”, Curated by Michael Klein, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY 2009 "Thoughts in Circles & Squares", Noma Gallery, San Francisco, CA "Permutation-Variant-Structure", curated by Elisabeth Akkerman, Maiden Lane exhibition space, New York, NY 2007 Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany 2004 “Art Paris”, by Denise Cade Gallery, Paris, France 2003 Tamada Project, Tokyo, Japan Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany 2001 Denise Cade Gallery, “Works of and with, but not on, Paper”, New York, NY 1992 Sakura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan. 1982 Gimpel+Hanover & Andre Emmerich Galerien, Zurich, Switzerland 1981 Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan 1978 Charleston Art Museum of Sunrise, Charleston, WV 1972 Henri Gallery, Washington D.C. 1965 North Truro Art Gallery, North Truro, MA 1965 World House Gallery, New York, NY GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2019 “De Bloeme | Naito | Zuurmond”, Art on Paper (BorzoGallery), Amsterdam 2019 “Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito”, Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Fransisco, CA 2018 “Inventing the New”, Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI 2018 “Kuwayama & Naito”, BorzoGallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016 “Kinder, Wie die Zeit vergeht!”, Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany 2015 “Re-Op: ‘The Responsive Eye’ Fifty Years After” David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM “Op Infinitum: 'The Responsive Eye' Fifty Years After (Part I and Part II)” David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM “Repsychling”, Macy Gallery, Columbia University, New York City 2013 Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI. “Inter Weaving”, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY Gebert Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM “Papierwelten II”, Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany 2012 “Paper and More”, Curated by Renate Bender, QuadrART, Dornbirn, Austria 2011 “Breathing”, The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, NY 2010 “1960s Revisited”, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 2010 “The Responsive Mind”, Madron Gallery, Chicago, IL 2009 International Women Artists’ Biennale at Incheon, Korea, Curated by Soojung Hyun 2008 “The Winter Salon – Works on Paper”, Bjorn Ressle Gallery, New York, NY “New American Abstraction 1960 - 1975” Gary Snyder Project Space, New York, NY 2007 “Papierwelten” Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s” Curated by Joe Houston, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH “Optical Edge”, Curated by Robert C. Morgan, Pratt Institute Gallery, New York, NY 2006 “Honest Echo”, Curated by J. Grace Rim, 2X13 Gallery, New York, NY 2005 “Neutral”, The Lab Gallery at Roger Smith, Curated by Robert C. Morgan, New York, NY “Papier=Kunst 5” Neuen Kunstvereins Aschaffenburg, Germany “Horsefeathers Etc..” Curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos, Tenri Foundation, New York, NY 2004 “Resounding Spirit” the Gibson Gallery, State University of NY, Potsdam, NY “Monocromos, Variaciones Sobre El Tema” Curated by Barbara Rose, Museo Nacional Centre De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain 2002 “20 Years Anniversary Show” Denise Cade Gallery, New York, NY “Samadhi” Curated by Robert C. Morgan. Chelsea Art Museum. New York, NY 2000 “Perceptions: Solitude Shared” Salena Gallery, Long Island University, New York, NY 1999 Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany 1994 Sakura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan 1993 “A Moment Becomes Eternity”, Curated by Michael Walls. Bergen Museum, NJ 1987 “In the Natural World”, Olympia & York, Park Ave Atrium, New York, NY 1984 Robert Brown Contemporary Art, Washington DC 1980 “An American Flower Show”, Curated by J. Frederic Cain, Sandwich, MA 1979 Nancy Roth Gallery, Katonah, NY 1974 “Tokyo International Biennale”, Tokyo, Japan 1966 “Black & White”, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT 1965 “Five Painters”, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 1964 Southampton Art Gallery East, New York, NY “Old Hundred”, Opening Exhibition. The Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN “Mortion & Movement”, The Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH 1962 Jerald Morris International Gallery, Toronto, Canada