Yuko Murata (born 1973, Kangawa, Japan) characterizes her landscapes and the animals that populate them as “scenes along the way.” She works from postcards and travel brochures, and her paintings share in the atmosphere of dislocated fantasy: they depict remote sanctuaries famous more as images than as actual destinations. Rather than pining for paradise itself, Murata settles down in its reflection. Her heavy brushstrokes and broad swaths of color pare the stock photos down to their simplest elements, emphasizing the distance between the image and its source. She makes her home in that disjunction, in composite scenery built from fragments of a collective ideal.
Yuko Murata studied at the Tokyo Art School, Setsu Mode Seminar, graduating in 1995. Her works were featured in the 2006 Taipei Biennial Dirty Yoga curated by Dan Cameron at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. She has had solo exhibitions in New York at Casey Kaplan Gallery (2009) as well as in Houston, TX, at Inman Gallery (2005, 2010, and 2015), and Alberto Peola, Turin, in 2009. Her works are in distinguished private and public collections including Daiwa Radiator Factory, Hiroshima; Takahashi Collection, Tokyo; The Obayashi Collection, Tokyo; The Sander Collection, Damstadt; Poligrapha, Barcelona, among numerous private collections in the United States and Europe. Murata lives and works in Tokyo.