Tomoo Gokita, ‘General Emotionality’, 2008, Phillips

From the Catalogue:
With a background in graphic illustration, Tomoo Gokita brings a level of animation to his paintings, rendered in black and white gouache. Having debuted at Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo the year of its creation in 2008, Gokita’s General Emotionality is a stunning example of the artist’s archetypal figures. A large-scale portrait, the painting features a central female figure whose face is obliterated with Neo-Expressionist like abstraction. The figure’s head and shoulders are rendered almost structurally, with extreme lights and darks standing in stark contrast in a sea of grey-scale monochrome. It is precisely this faithfulness to monochrome illustration that makes Gokita’s paintings so unique. As described in the release accompanying the 2008 exhibition, Gokita’s paintings are “graphic re-presentations of paintings… as much ‘about’ the range of possibilities inherent in varying shades of black and white, and the material flatness and contrastingly sharp tones resulting from gouache applied to canvas” (Tomoo Gokita, Taka Ishii Gallery, April 1 – 26, 2008, online). The present work was also exhibited at the artist’s celebrated retrospective The Great Circus which took place in 2014 at the Kawamura DIC Memorial Museum of Art in Sakura.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: signed, titled and dated ""General Emotionality" Tomoo Gokita '08" on the reverse

Tokyo, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tomoo Gokita, April 1 – 26, 2008
Sakura, Kawamura DIC Memorial Museum of Art, Tomoo Gokita: The Great Circus, August 31 – December 24, 2014, cat. no. 18, n.p. (illustrated)
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, The Encyclopedia of Masamichi Katayama "Life is hard... Let's go shopping.", April 8 - June 25, 2017, cat. no. 79, p. 83 (illustrated)

Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Tomoo Gokita

Tomoo Gokita’s gray-scale paintings depict archetypal figures, such as a pin-up girl or a geisha, with their faces concealed. With a background in graphic design, the Tokyo-based artist was initially inspired to create art by his love of manga and animation. His paintings reflect these pop cultural influences, evoking iconic celebrity headshots and pornographic magazines. Executed with extreme technical precision, his erasure of the face through Neo-expressionistic flourishes or scraping gestures disturbs and adds a humorous element to his compositions.

Japanese, b. 1969, Tokyo, Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan