Friday, 5 July 2013

Takesada Matsutani - Hauser & Wirth

Takesada Matsutani, Work 63, 1963
Takesada Matsutani: A Matrix is at Hauser & Wirth until 27 July 2013.
This is the first UK show for this Japanese artist whose career reaches back to his involvement with the Gutai group in the 1960s. Gutai, established in Osaka in 1954, was in part, a response to Jackson Pollock and Abstract Expressionism; it has been characterised as 'one of the most interesting... "creative misreadings" of twentieth century art' (Foster, H. et al (2004) Art Since 1900, T&H, p373). Inspired by Hans Namuth's photographs of Pollock painting, the Gutai artists took the performative aspect of Pollock's work as their key point of reference -artists painted with their feet (Shiraga), puctured painted paper (Shimamoto) and threw balls dipped in ink (Murakami).  "The inventiveness of Gutai artists in their choice of material and working method for their paintings - most often ritualized during their exhibitions - is staggering." (Foster, p374)
Some of this inventiveness and ritualized performance is evident in Matsutani show at Hauser & Wirth. Work from the 1960s makes extensive use of vinyl glue which the artist allowed to drip and run, as well as using fans, hairdryers and his own breath to create bulbous, suggestively organic forms. Later works such as 'Stream-10, 1984 - 2013, London' comprises a 10-metre sheet of paper which the artist covered in a blanket of graphite, leaving a thin line running through the middle of the paper - the work was completed by throwing turpentine over the edge of the dense surface dissolving the graphite.
During the opening of the show Matsutani enacted a perfomance in which a bag filled with water was suspended above a piece of paper held down by a stone. Matsutani pierced small holes into the bag allowing a slow, steady trickle onto the stone, over which he moved a Sumi stick of black ink resulting in sprays and splashes onto the paper.
Watch a video of Matsutani talking about his work here.

Takesada Matsutani, installation shot showing outcome of performance (foreground) and Stream-10, 1984 - 2013, London (background)

Takesada Matsutani, Superposition 92-10-26, 1992

Takesada Matsutani, Work 62-3, 1962

Takesada Matsutani, Work 65-B-1, 1963

Takesada Matsutani, Circle-2, 1965

Takesada Matsutani, Work 62, 1962

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