July 2, 2019 - Hauser & Wirth Publishers - Takesada Matsutani
July 2, 2019

Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Takesada Matsutani. Co-published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers and Centre Pompidou.


Takesada Matsutani
New catalog co-published with Centre Pompidou

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Accompanying the first major retrospective in France of Takesada Matsutani’s work—on view at the Centre Pompidou from June 26 to September 23, 2019—this new catalog, co-published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers and Centre Pompidou, provides an unprecedented overview of Matsutani’s rich and singular career, showcasing works from the late 1950s to today. Illustrating over sixty works featured in the exhibition, the publication is edited by the museum’s chief curator Christine Macel and art historian Valérie Douniaux, who has been working with the artist’s archives since 2014. The 240-page title includes a complete index of Matsutani’s Streams, a series of activated performance pieces begun in 1980, as well as newly commissioned texts by Centre Pompidou Director Bernard Blistène and President Serge Lasvignes; Director of the Osaka National Museum of Art, Toshio Yamanashi; and writer Yves Peyré, who offers a poetic view of the artist’s practice in relation to Japanese traditions.

About Takesada Matsutani
From the early 1960s until the 1970s Matsutani was a key member of the "second generation" of the influential post war Japanese art collective, the Gutai Art Association. Over five decades Matsutani has developed a unique visual language of form and materials. As part of the Gutai group, Matsutani experimented with vinyl glue, using fans and his own breath to manipulate the substance, creating bulbous and sensuous forms reminiscent of human curves and features.

In 1966, Matsutani received a grant from the French government after winning first prize in the 1st Mainichi Art Competition and subsequently moved to Paris where he began working at Stanley William Hayter’s renowned printmaking studio, Atelier 17. During the four years he worked at the studio, he learnt French, married and established his base in Paris. Working alongside Hayter opened Matsutani up to a new form of artistic experimentation and offered him a newfound confidence. Matsutani began to rethink his practice and a new elemental aesthetic language began to emerge that was both controlled and organic.

After the Gutai group disbanded in 1972, Matsutani eased into a radical yet consistent new body of work, informed by his experience at Atelier 17. Faithful to his Gutai roots, he strove to identify and convey the essential character of vinyl glue with graphite, that were to become his signature materials. Matsutani began creating vast expanses of metallic black graphite on mural-size sheets of paper built up with painstaking individual strokes. This ritualized manner presents a time-based record of his gestures, while reminiscent of his artistic beginnings in Japan, it has been translated into an artistic language that is uniquely his own.

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