Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm

18 avenue Matignon, 75008, Paris, France
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm


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Takesada Matsutani

Almine Rech, Matignon, Paris

Fri 6 Jan 2023 to Sat 18 Feb 2023

18 avenue Matignon, 75008 Takesada Matsutani

Tue-Sat 11am-7pm

Artist: Takesada Matsutani

Almine Rech Paris, Matignon, presents a selection of mixed-media, abstract works by the pioneering Japanese modern artist Takesada Matsutani.


Artworks

Takesada Matsutani, Untitled, 1986

Graphite pencil, white spirit, acrylic on Canson JA paper

498 × 648 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Ana Drittanti

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Takesada Matsutani, Untitled, 1986

Graphite pencil, vinyl adhesive, acrylic, white spirit on Canson Dessin JA paper

498 × 648 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Ana Drittanti

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Takesada Matsutani, Untitled, 1986

Graphite pencil, White Spirit, acrylic on Canson JA paper

498 × 648 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Ana Drittanti

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Takesada Matsutani, Stream-2, 1978

Graphite pencil on paper

10000 × 1500 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Ana Drittanti

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Takesada Matsutani, Expanding-22 /, 2022

Vinyl adhesive and graphite pencil on canvas

730 × 920 × 25 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Point de Contact 9-2010, 2010

Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil, gouache on plywood

125 × 185 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, C. Circle 2022 / C, 2022

Ink, acrylic, vinyl adhesive on cotton, plywood board

1390 × 1460 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, A Semi Circle-14, 2014

Vinyl adhesive, graphie pencil, cotton mounted on plywood

165 × 420 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Untitled, 2015

Ink and acrylic on plywood

125 × 268 × 25 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Brush, 2010

Vinyl adhesive, sumi ink, on cotton and plywood

80 × 340 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Untitled, 2022

Vinyl adhesive, ink, graphite pencil on paper, plywood box

168 × 220 × 23 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, A Triangle 2020-3, 2020

Acrylic on cardboard, vinyl adhesive, plywood box

160 × 220 × 30 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Work-17, 2017

Paint on plywood

94 × 277 × 30 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Noir, 2015

Sumi ink, graphite pencil, cotton, cut cardboard on a plywood board

198 × 350 × 25 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Lampe-12, 2014

Vinyl adhesive, collage (dry paint), acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas mounted on plywood

220 × 275 × 40 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Cercle 15-2-14, 2015

Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil, acrylic on burnt plywood

180 × 240 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, A Circle-14-15 2014-03-05, 2014

Vinyl adhesive, sumi ink, burnt cotton, acylic on burnt plywood

170 × 240 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Fly 2000 - 7, 2000

Vinyl adhesive and graphite pencil on canvas

1300 × 1620 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, A Drop / Une Goutte, 2018  - 2022

Vinyl adhesive and ink on canvas and cotton

1400 × 1400 × 56 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Takesada Matsutani, Black, White. Green -2022 -11, 2022

Vinyl adhesive, acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas mounted plywood

630 × 915 × 45 mm

© Takesada Matsutani. Photo: Benoît Fougeirol

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Installation Views

Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech Installation image for Takesada Matsutani, at Almine Rech

Featuring an overview of the artist’s creations from the past two decades, the exhibition also includes several of Matsutani’s emblematic works from the 1970s and 1980s; together, these works 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.

The techniques Matsutani uses to produce his art, with globs of glue, splotches of paint, or objects partially dipped in paint, are as much his subjects as the sensuous forms that result from these methods. As his work evolved, evoking the aesthetics of East Asian calligraphy, he explored the expressive power of a minimalist palette of black and white in abstract works marked by an elegant, mysterious allure.

Recently, at the opening of the exhibition Into the Unknown World — Gutai: Differentiation and Integration at the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka, and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Matsutani said, “Even today, my art-making is influenced by Yoshihara’s dictum: to strive to create something new and fresh, and to honor the spirit of my materials.”

Matsutani, who comes from Nishinomiya, a small town situated just to the west of Osaka, has several iconic works on display in the exhibition that is now on view in that large port city in western Japan. (The artist has long divided his time between his studio in Paris and his studio in Nishinomiya.)

Works by Matsutani at Almine Rech Paris, Matignon will include, among others, one of the artist’s long, horizontal-format, pencil-on-paper drawings from his “Stream” series (1978); “Point de Contact 9-2010” (2010), one of his vinyl-glue dollops in a rare, small-format composition on plywood; “A Drop/Une Goutte” (2018–22), in which the artist experiments with a new combination of vinyl glue and black ink on canvas; and “Expanding-22” (2022), a luminous, mixed-media work in which a transparent, vinyl-glue blob hugs the surface of a white canvas, its form teasingly obscuring a single, plain-pencil line.

In recent decades, the achievements of the Gutai artists have become internationally known through such important exhibitions as Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky (Yokohama Museum of Art, 1994), Gutai: The Spirit of an Era (National Art Center, Tokyo, 2012), Gutai: Splendid Playground (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013), and, now, the current, two-venue presentation in Osaka.

With the inclusion of his distinctive, mixed-media works in these exhibitions and in numerous solo presentations in galleries in Japan, the United States, and Europe, Matsutani has become one of a handful of notable Gutai artists whose contributions to the group’s influential legacy of experimentation and whose individual oeuvre have attracted considerable critical praise in their own right.

With this concentrated survey of Matsutani’s work, Almine Rech Paris, Matignon will showcase the ideas and innovations of an artist whose creative journey has taken him from a small town in Japan to one of modern art’s historic centers in the heart of Europe, and from early experiments with the humblest of materials to the crafting of a body of enigmatic abstract works that has earned a distinctive place in modern art’s canon.

— Edward M. Gómez, arts journalist, art critic and author

Installation views of Takesada Matsutani January 6 - February 18, 2023, Almine Rech Matignon. Courtesy of the Artist and Hauser & Wirth and Almine Rech © Takesada Matsutani - Photo: Ana Drittanti

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