Keiko Nemeth was born in Yokohama, Japan, in the family of educators. Her father was the Principal of a vocational high school chartered by the Kanagawa Prefecture, and her mother was a teacher in the traditional arts of the Japanese calligraphy and flower arrangement. She attended the preparatory school to the Ochanomizu Women’s University in Tokyo, the oldest women’s university in Japan, where she first began painting in oil.
As a foreign student in Evanston, Illinois, she won the scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her concurrent interest in the language arts led her instead to enroll in the International Division of Jochi (Sophia) University in Tokyo, a Jesuit school.
She permanently relocated to the United States upon her marriage and became a naturalized citizen in 1975. She resumed art studies under Pam Maddox at American River College in Sacramento and was introduced to the seminal work of Richard Diebenkorn, thus setting in motion her life-long independent studies of his work.
Keiko Nemeth exhibited and received honors for both her figurative and abstract paintings in Northern California and executed commissioned works in multi States. The most significant of the commissioned work to date is the 10-ft. x 27-ft. freestanding abstract mural housed in the Central Bank of Missouri. The building was designed by the award-winning teaching architect Arthur Takeuchi, a faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
She relocated to Chicago in the summer of 1999 and began pursuing her own creative vision in the medium of oil on canvas, while continuing the art of the Japanese calligraphy. She received the Award of Excellence from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office on the exhibition of her oil paintings alongside the Japanese calligraphy, entitled “Tradition Meets Modernism.”
From 2009 to the end of 2013, her primary focus was the development of a body of work she designated as “Terra Series.” In it she sought to express the inherent vibrancy of Nature she recalled from her childhood in Japan and her years in California, as well as to engage in the expressive possibilities of oil painting. To date, selections from “Terra Series” have been showcased in three solo shows. The 2011 exhibition, FULCRUM: Inception Expression at Dulgar Gallery on the campus of South Suburban College was curated to incorporate the artist’s photography installation. The third solo show KEIKO NEMETH: Life, Culture, Creativity took place in the winter of 2013 at the Chicago Temple Gallery in the heart of the loop, and it was presented to coincide with the Chicago Humanities Festival.
A number of works from this series have been acquired by institutional as well as private collectors. They are placed in the corporate collection of a major bank, shown in law offices, corporate lobbies and medical facilities. Private collectors include the CEO of an international corporation, university faculties and clients ofdesigners and art consultant. One of the painting in the series was chosen as thecover of “Vorticity,” a collection of poems by the noted Chicago poet, Victoria Anderson, the Writing Program Director of Loyola University.
In March of 2014 Keiko Nemeth relocated her studio to Mana Contemporary to expand her working space as well as to engage in the vital dialogue of contemporary art making.
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