Taka Ishii Gallery Tokyo presents Minoru Onoda’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Featuring eleven paintings spanning his early works of the 1960s to the late works of the late 1990s, the show offers an overview of Onoda’s creative practice, which lasted over five decades.
What I expect from a new members are humility and recalcitrance equal to that of their seniors, who, by deliberately avoiding their predecessors’ failures, proudly displayed otherworldly works in past Gutai exhibitions. I am still surprised by the melting pot of the Gutai Group and its mysterious production of unexpected offsprings.
Jiro Yoshihara, Gutai no. 14,1965
In the 1960s, Gutai’s art informel style, established with Michel Tapié’s support, had gradually grown stale. To rectify this situation in 1965, Jiro Yoshihara welcomed new members, whose works clearly differed from those of previous members. Onoda was one of the “third generation” members who joined Gutai that year. The new members’ works aimed for a new type of abstraction that would accurately reflect the age of mass production and consumption.
Onoda’s paintings of the 1960s are composed of numerous variously colored and sized dots. Painted on a plywood support with a base mixed of gofun and glue, these works have an organic, undulating surface. Onoda covered the surfaces of these works, which he called “paintings of proliferation,” with dots to objectify this period of rapid economic growth, when industrial parts such as vacuum tubes were mass produced. His paintings became increasingly abstract, and in his works of 1970s, the dots are concentrated inside a circle placed centrally in a square canvas. By limiting the form to the universal shape of a circle, Onoda prevented any interference by chance and imagination, as if to eradicate conceptual factors from his pictures.
Minoru Onoda (1937 – 2008) was born in Manchuria, Northeast China. Onoda’s family moved to Himeji in the western region of Japan before the outbreak of World War II, where he continued to live and work as painter. In 1965 he was invited to join Gutai through introduction from group member Sadamasa Motonaga. He participated group exhibitions including “Gutai: Splendid Playground”, the Guggenheim Museum (2013); “GUTAI, The Spirit of an Era”, The National Art Center, Tokyo (2012); “Gutai, 1954 – 1972”, the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (2004); “1964: A Turning Point in Japanese Art”, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (1996); “The Gutai Group Osaka Japan”, Experiment Studio Rotterdam (1967); “New Generation of Contemporary Art”, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Annex; and “The 16th Gutai Art Exhibition”, the Keio Department Store, Tokyo (both 1965). His solo exhibition “Onoda’s World” was organized by the Himeji City Museum of Art in 2004.
This exhibition is held in collaboration with Anne-Mosseri Marlio Galerie, Basel