Nobu Nakamura
(1949 - 2011)

Originally from Japan, Nobu Nakamura was a well-known fabric designer with his own fabric company. Incorporating bright pigments and painting sitting on rugs were hallmarks of his fabric designs and stay true to his style in his paintings. Much of his work remains unframed canvas because of his unique process, and our collection includes several of his pieces for you to discover. Nakamura moved to Portland, Oregon with his partner Billy and his painting continued—in the 1980’s, he produced a collection that featured multiple iterations of patterns using the same 4 colors—catching the attention of Butters Gallery in Portland, and the Mary Hill collection in the Gorge in Washington.

Although enigmatic, Nobu Nakamura was a welcoming artist. Happy to talk with those who wanted to learn about his art and learn about his process, Nobu also liked to challenge himself by adjusting his process in unpredictable ways. Marilyn describes his process as “fascinating” and in Nakamura’s collection available in our archives, there is a sense that Nobu also fascinated himself with his approach to process and his work.