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Events & Exhibits
Yuko Nii

Yuko Nii

Biography and Recent Art Works

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painting

THE BURDEN BEARERS 60 X 72 oil on linen

 
painting

FLUX 69 X 72 oil on linen

 
The Plain of Worldly Content

The Plain of Worldly Content, 58 X 72 inches oil on linen

 
Painting

MYTH OF THE EGYPTIAN DUNES 38 X 48 inches oil on linen

 
Painting

A FACE OF SHADOW 38 X 48 inches oil on linen

 
painting

DUNES OF ETERNITY 60 X 144 inches oil on linen

 
Painting

DUNES OF THE ERELONG HIGHWAY 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 
Sand Harbors of the Ancient Planet

Sand Harbors of the Ancient Planet, 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 
Marching Kings in the Royal Dunes

Marching Kings in the Royal Dunes, 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 
Spectrum Planet 3

Spectrum Planet 3, 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 
Spectrum Planet 4

Spectrum Planet 4, 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 
Spectrum Planet 8

Spectrum Planet 8, 60 X 84 inches oil on linen

 

Yuko Nii (b. 1942), artist and philanthropist, studied (1961-63) English and American Literature at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan. In 1963 she transferred to Macalaster College, St. Paul, MN as a scholarship student, and earned her BFA in 1965. From 1966 she attended Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, as a fellowship student and earned her MFA in painting in 1969. From 1969 to 1976, while pursuing her painting career, Nii taught art at Lenox School (high school level) in New York City. After quitting teaching, from 1976 to 1996 Nii committed herself totally to the creative fields, pursuing painting as her main career, and supporting herself as a printmaker, a graphic designer, a scene/stage set designer, a costume and fashion designer, and as a writer in journalism, poetry, fiction, essays and philosophy, publishing a book with Terrance Lindall, entitled BLUE EYED SATORI, and writing for newspapers and magazines.

Nii’s work has been shown at numerous museums, art galleries and universities in the U.S.A. and Japan, including one person shows at The Berkshire Museum, MA,

Monique Knowlton Gallery and Haber Theodore Gallery (both in New York City), Vered International Gallery and Elaine Benson Gallery (both Long Island, NY), Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, The International Monetary Fund Washington DC, Ginza Kaiga-kan, Tokyo, and including many group shows in such venues as, The Brooklyn Museum, NY, The Bronx Museum, NY, The Hudson River Museum, NY, The Parish Museum, Southhampton, NY, The Guild Hall, Easthampton. NY, The World Trade Center, NY, Lincoln Center, NY, and The United Nations General Assembly Building, NY, and more.

Nii’s works are in public and private collections including those of The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Berkshire Museum, The Alternative Museum, Equitable Assurance Collection, JP Morgan Chase Bank Collection, Bankers Trust, Security Pacific Bank, N.L. Industries, The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Bonny Corp., Nihon Davis Standard Corp., The Explorer’s Club, and many individual art collections.

Nii’s works are included in a number of publications, including “Looking at Landscapes” (Criterion Press) and she has been reviewed in publications including the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, The Soho Weekly News, The Berkshire Eagle, Art News Magazine, The Geijutsu Shincho Art Magazine and the three major Japanese newspapers (Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun) and many local newspapers. She has appeared on several television and radio programs here and in Japan.

Nii was an advisory panelist for the 1978 CAPS Grants under the Cultural Council Foundation of New York City and JPMorgan Chase 2007 Regrant Program. And Nii was twice (in 1981 and 1983) an artist in residence at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Nii’s “Friends and Mentors” belong to an established circle of the international art world, and include Jack Lenor Larsen (Textile Designer), Isamu Noguchi (Sculptor), Toshiko Takaezu (Ceramist), Ansei Uchima (Printmaker and Painter), Toshiko Uchima (Collagist and Box Assemblage Artist), Esteban Vicente (Painter and Collagist), Siah Armajani (Conceptual Artist), Hillary Harris (Film Maker), Max Newhouse (Non-linear, Interactive Multi-Media Artist), Kenneth Noland (Painter), Max Roach (Jazz Percussionist), Leon Kirchner (Composer of Classic Music) and many more.

In 1996 Nii founded the not for profit Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, based upon her Bridge Concept. That concept envisions a multifaceted, multicultural art center whose mission is to coalesce the diverse artistic communities, and create a bridge between local, national and international artists, emerging as well as established artists of all disciplines. Nii also wanted to preserve the WAH Center’s building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a New York City Landmark.

In 1998 Howard Golden, then Brooklyn Borough President, named Nii one of Brooklyn’s “Women of the Year” for her “unparalleled devotion to her art and commitment to the artist community of Williamsburg/Greenpoint.” And he said that the WAH Center’s activities have resulted in “tremendous cultural & economic activity throughout the northern Brooklyn area, “ an area recently designated an “historic district” and “economic development zone.”

In 2001 Governor George Pataki named Nii one of New York States women of the year and called her a “Woman of Excellence with Vision and Courage.” He also congratulated Nii on turning the historic Kings County Savings Bank Building into a multipurpose art center that serves the needs of artists and art aficionados of diverse backgrounds.

In 2003, Borough President Marty Markowitz gave Nii the Betty Smith Arts Award for her outstanding achievements and contributions to the arts in Brooklyn. And also City Councilwoman Tracy Boyland] gave her the Outstanding Citizen award.

Here is what people have said about Yuko Nii:

I have known her for 20 years as a fine artist, friend & a very lively, active, and committed person who gets things going and gets them done. Esteban Vicente

During 20 years of solid friendship, Yuko and I have worked on several projects together, building a bridge of the arts between Japan and the United States. She is a seriously hardworking, totally committed and great artist. Additionally she is also a free spirited, fun loving person with a great sense of humor! Because she is so well balanced and because of her creativity and energy, I have no doubt that the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center will be a great success! Kenneth Noland

I have known and worked with Yuko on various projects over the years and she is a person of great intelligence and integrity as well as a great artist. Robert Panza, Executive Director, Visual Artists and Galleries Association

A remarkable person, dedicated to the art world and her fellow artists, as well as being a fine artist herself. Curtis Harnack, President, School of American Ballet

A person of great ability and integrity as well as a fine artist. Shoji Sadao, *[20]Honorary Life Trustee, The Isamu Noguchi Foundation

An exceptionally gifted fine artist, a farseeing visionary...sincerely concerned about the well being of the human race. Max Roach, Jazz Percussionist

A clarity of vision and mastery of technique so characteristic of the best Japanese artists. Stuart C, Henry, Director, The Berkshire Museum

The work of Yuko Nii carries a feeling of intensity and personal poetry. Her landscapes are in fact a landscape of her inner self. Tamon Miki, Chief Curator, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Yuko Nii’s giant contributions of energy, vision and generosity transformed almost overnight a disintegrating landmark building into a vital center for the arts in Williamsburg, a historic Brooklyn community that now enjoys the largest concentration of resident artists within the art capital of the world, New York City. Yuko’s extraordinary achievement is itself a landmark for Brooklyn and marks her for recognition as a living treasure of Brooklyn and the nation! Robin Radin, Harvard Law School, Program on International Financial Systems, Associate Director