Almine Rech Paris, Matignon, is excited to announce its presentation of a selection of mixed-media, abstract works by the pioneering Japanese modern artist Takesada Matsutani, which will open at the gallery on January 6, 2023, and run through February 18, 2023.
Featuring an overview of the artist’s creations from the past two decades, the exhibition will also include several of Matsutani’s emblematic works from the 1970s and 1980s; together, these works will offer a compact survey of his art’s themes and technical development during the most recent phase of his long career, which has spanned some of modernism’s most notable eras.
Matsutani, who has been based in Paris since the 1960s, is best known for his involvement with the Gutai Art Association, a group of young artists who, with their leader, the older painter Jirō Yoshihara (1905-1972), came together in 1954, in western Japan, with the aim of, as their manifesto declared, “locking up” the “fraudulent” art of the past like “corpses in the graveyard.” Experimenting with materials and a wide range of art-making methods, the Gutai artists fueled Japan’s post-World War II avant-garde with rambunctious, tradition-busting energy.
Inspired by Yoshihara’s commands to work with and reveal the expressive spirit of their materials and to “create what has not been created before,” Gutai’s members developed what are now regarded as some of the most groundbreaking and prototypical works of installation art, performance art, and conceptual art. The group had a high-profile presence at Expo ’70, the world’s fair that took place in Osaka, Japan, in 1970. It disbanded two years later, following Yoshihara’s death.
Matsutani was a member of Gutai’s so-called second generation, since he joined the group some time after it had been established. Demonstrating a unique approach to handling his materials, he worked with vinyl glue, paint, and other media to create sculptural works on canvas with highly textured surfaces. Often they featured what appeared to be strange orifices or other unusual, organic-feeling forms. Matsutani used his own breath or an electric fan to blow air onto his liquid-glue blobs. In this way, he could control their shapes or stimulate the flow of his moist, malleable material as it dried and hardened.
— Edward M. Gómez, arts journalist, art critic and author