March 5 - April 13, 2024

61 Lispenard Street

P: 212 925 4631

New York, NY

Kiyoshi Tsuchiya: Readers


Installation view of Kiyoshi Tsuchiya Readers

CANADA is pleased to present Readers, a solo exhibition of paintings by Kiyoshi Tsuchiya.  Born in Uraga, Japan in 1949 to a Japanese father and Chinese mother who met in post-war China, Tsuchiya worked as a film editor before arriving in New York in 1973. He wanted to continue in film but couldn’t break into the industry. Art, however, can be done independently, and in 1976, he began to study sculpture and drawing at the Art Students League. He moved back to Japan in 1979, then returned to New York in 1990 and continued to make sculpture, in stone, wood and terracotta. In 2006 he started teaching himself to paint, and his studio gradually filled to the rafters with landscapes, still lives and, most importantly, women. 

Tsuchiya invents his painted scenes; he doesn’t work from observation or photographs. His vision is a product of his psyche, libido, imagination and memory. The paintings develop slowly through an idiosyncratic process. After mapping out the main composition, Tsuchiya often attaches small pieces of paper or magazine clippings to the surfaces of his paintings to stimulate his imagination and preview the shapes and colors of the details he will eventually create, adjusting his notes as he works towards a

finished composition. Discarded paper scraps then end up on the floor and drift around the studio, accumulating in small snowy piles.

The final images are placid and sweet. Tsuchiya gently enters the private space of the women he depicts who seem lost in thought, confident of their privacy. He treats their spaces with a hushed sense of erotic privilege, careful to not disturb the sacred territory of bodies in repose and minds drifting on a river of text. The paintings of readers in this exhibition are each immersed in a color world that gives them a specific emotional tone. Décor and outfits often match, as in Reading a Book, Green Bed or Purple Afterglow. Tsuchiya seems to ask the viewer to consider the personality of his subject, or perhaps imagine the content of the books they are lost in. The decidedly obsessive renderings of interiors and figures border on surrealism, as in Reading Imagination where the wallpaper sports ghostly white trees that mimic ones seen through the window. Most dramatically, the woman in Brown Book, Afterglow has a mane of blond hair, with each individual strand carefully painted. The result is a tangle of electric energy that seems to embody an epiphany from heaven.

Pink Sweatshirt, 2022
Oil on canvas
40 × 24 in

In Bed with Book, 2022
Oil on canvas
24 × 30 in


Installation view of Kiyoshi Tsuchiya Readers


Installation view of Kiyoshi Tsuchiya Readers

Brown Book Afterglow, 2022
Oil on canvas
20 × 38 in

Purple Afterglow, 2022
Oil on canvas
36 × 36 in


Reading Imagination, 2022
Oil on canvas
36 × 24 1/4 in


Installation view of Kiyoshi Tsuchiya Readers


Installation view of Kiyoshi Tsuchiya Readers

Reading a Book, Green Bed, 2022
Acrylic and oil on canvas
7 × 9 × 1 3/8 in

Pink Room Afterglow, 2022
Oil on canvas
24 × 24 in


Selected Works

Dream SpeakRachel Eulena Williams

ZzyzxChristina Sucgang

HomesickSadie Laska

Promised LightLuke Murphy

ReadersKiyoshi Tsuchiya

ComeCloseJoan Snyder

NocturnesAnke Weyer

Arms and the SeaKatherine Bradford

Objet OuttaKen Resseger

Last LandscapesGerald Ferguson

Leroy's LuncheonAzikiwe Mohammed

Frisson CityLee Relvas

Reassembler 3Brian Belott

A Ball is for ThrowingElizabeth McIntosh

Ambient MusicLee Mary Manning

TORSOAnnabeth Marks

BiscuitLyric Shen

Body ForthMatt Connors

A Cliff to ClimbRyan Preciado

Library of a DreamRobert Janitz

Gold GoldRJ Messineo

On ValentinesSpencer Lewis

Who is afraid of Natasha?Joanna Malinowska & CT Jasper

USMichael Mahalchick


The Thick StreamGroup Exhibition

5 SeasonsJason Fox

Mother PaintingsKatherine Bradford

Ceramics and PrintsElisabeth Kley

Black Femme: Sovereign of WAP and the Virtual Realm curated by Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle

#VayaConDiosKatherine Bernhardt

DrawingsJason Fox

Heart, HeartAnke Weyer

Tracing MemoryRachel Eulena Williams

Rayos De SombraRobert Janitz

GorpTyson Reeder

EREHWONSadie Laska