Kenji Fujita works in series using commonplace geometries of shape, line and form. With Excavation (2018-19) Fujita makes small sculptures out of odd pieces of old work retrieved from the studio floor that are cut, crushed, stuffed, turned around, smoothed over, painted and repainted. Amalgams of new work are layered over old work. For Cut and Cover (2019-20) Fujita takes old panel pieces, cuts them roughly into thirds and turns them around facing the wall. These newly painted “backs” function like shallow stages for the flat, painted plywood shapes that are arranged in ways that feel both improvised and planned. For Set/Reset (2021) Fujita takes scraps of sculptural leftovers, small abstract plywood shapes hand cut with a jig saw, and places them, like templates, onto the canvas, which are then outlined in pencil and brushed in with paint. Flat, opaque, textured and transparent, these painted shapes form arrangements that move the eye to see patterns that come together and then break apart: set/reset. Fujita was born into a family of artists that was inspired by mid-century American abstraction and Japanese aesthetics. His art plays freely with these influences, recreating and destroying inherited forms in order to produce new improvisations.
Kenji Fujita received a BA from Bennington College, an MFA from Queens College (SUNY) and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Fujita has been making sculpture, painting and works on paper for over 30 years and has shown his work extensively both in the U.S. and Internationally. He has received grants and fellowships from NYFA (Sculpture), NEA (Sculpture and Works on Paper), Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation and the John S. Guggenheim Foundation. Fujita was born in New York City and lives and works in Staatsburg, NY. He teaches at Bard College and the School of Visual Arts.