The Most Iconic Artists of the 1970s
'Atsuko Tanaka: Search for an Unknown Aesthetic, 1954-2000', Ashiya City Museum of Art & History, Ashiya/ Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Shizuoka, 2001, illustrated on P.181 as No.188
Atsuko Tanaka was known best for her experimental clothing and performances. She made her early paintings by using commercially purchased cloth stretched into canvases. After she joined the Gutai Art Group in 1955, Tanaka became influenced by the group’s preoccupations with chance, time, and space. During that time, Tanaka came to see her body as a malleable artwork, and her entire oeuvre as a form of painting. In one of her best-known works, Electric Dress (1956), she wore and moved around in a garment made from incandescent light bulbs. Other performances involved changing outfits that emphasized constraint or transformation, presented everyday objects for aesthetic consideration, and made engravings on sand.