Marc Katano’s large-scale paintings on paper fuse bodily gestures with calligraphic mark making. Bold and resolutely physical, his loose, triangular forms, executed with fast, decisive strokes, run up to and sometimes off the edges, bringing to mind gnarled limbs pushing out against enclosures.
The son of an American serviceman and a Japanese mother, Katano, 61, spent his early years in Japan, schooled in English but unable to read or write Japanese, the language spoken by his mother at home. When his family moved to the U.S., Katano’s most persistent memories were of street signs written in Kanji, the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing. Those memories set him on a 40-year quest to express the unknowable. It’s the same impulse that gave rise to “nonobjective” painting at its inception.