You are here
TAKESADA MATSUTANI (1937)
Takesada Matsutani is born January 1, 1937 in Osaka, Japan. He is a contemporary mixed-media artist. He is currently living and working between Japan and France.
From the early 1960s until the 1970s Takesada Matsutani was a key member of the influential radical,Japanese post-war artistic group Gutai . As part of the group, Matsutani experimented with vinyl glue, using fans and his own breath to manipulate the substance, creating bulbous and sensuous forms. By working closely with the material, this approach embodied an important aspect of Gutai – ‘’Gutai art does not change the material but brings it to life.’’First inspired by blood samples he had viewed under a microscope in the 1960s, Matsutani began to develop his signature style of circular, bubble-like forms from blobs of vinyl glue that he deposited on the surfaces of his canvases. Matsutani went on to refine his unique method of pouring vinyl glue, inflating it with his own breath and slicing it or letting it collapse on itself as he dried it with a fan. Arising from an elegant painterly surface, the shapes were simultaneously attractive and repulsive, sculptural and dynamic. The long hours that it takes to pour, dry, inflate and cut the vinyl glue, infuse the work with a sense of lived time. In 1967, Matsutani enters the Atelier 17, Stanley William Hayter's engraving studio. Matsutani becomes Hayter's assistant and meets at the studio his future wife, American artist Kate Van Houten. Despite Hayter's predilection for colour, Matsutani admits having mostly understood during his years at the studio the potentials and the evidence of black, already perceived while he was studying Japanese traditional art. Black and white, which the artist considers as characteristics of Japanese culture, therefore prevail in Matsutani's works. After his years at the Atelier 17, Matsutani focuses on silkscreen, and shares a studio in Montparnasse with Kate Van Houten. A large part of his work then consists in taking photographs of his Objects, made with canvas and glue, and to recreate these pictures in silkscreen. Decades have passed and Matsutani continues to be inspired by the tactility of vinyl glue, although today his method places more emphasis on the meditative and methodical. While he doesn’t consider himself a Zen practitioner in his art, he has felt a profound affinity with the philosophy’s call for a ‘return to the simplicity of everyday experience’; its rejection of ‘system based thinking’; and its emphasis on ‘a constant moment-to-moment praxis’. In his multifaceted works, Matsutani attempts to stop time, to materialize a suspended moment, and acknowledge the repetition and fluidity of everyday life.The artist’s unique visual language forms one of the most pioneering oeuvres to emerge from post-war Japan and is continually celebrated globally.
Matsutani’s work is present in major public and private collections around the world including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the Long Museum in Shanghai among many others.