Bergamin & Gomide brings the work of Takesada Matsutani to Brazil for the first time
Born in Japan and a member of the Gutai group's second generation, the artist recently participated in the 57th Venice Biennale in Italy in 2017. Matsutani will participate in the installation of the exhibition and will perform at a parallel event at the Japan House in São Paulo.
One of the characteristics that distinguishes the work of Paris-based Japanese artist Takesada Matsutani is the material he uses to create his works: vinyl glue - a type of fast-acting contact adhesive that is flexible after drying. The artist represents a new departure for abstract expressionism and will be present at his first ever exhibition in Brazil, presented by Bergamin & Gomide starting on March 3rd, in partnership with Hauser & Wirth and organized with Olivier Renaud-Clément.
In his early experiments, Matsutani impregnated the canvas surface with bulbous elements, using his own breath to create swollen and ruptured forms that evoke flesh and wounds. His career began in the 1960s as a key-member of the "second generation" of the Gutai Art Association, post-war Japan's innovative and influential art collective. One of the most important artists still working today, Matsutani continues to demonstrate the Gutai spirit, conveying the reciprocity between pure gesture and raw material. His paintings, drawings and sculptures engage with themes of eternity and echo the endless cycles of life and death.
He recalls: "The glue began to drip and, as it dried, bulges began to form, resembling a cow's udders." Inspired by observing bacteria through a microscope at a friend's laboratory, Matsutani further developed this technique using a hairdryer to create forms that recall the curves of the human body.
Around 20 works were selected for the exhibition at Bergamin & Gomide: paintings and works on paper made with graphite, vinyl glue and acrylic, among other materials. In the past three years, Matsutani had solo exhibitions at Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology (Krakow, 2018), Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles (Los Angeles, 2017), Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, (Switzerland, 2016), Otani Memorial Art Museum, 'Currents', Nishinomiya (Japan, 2015) and Hauser & Wirth New York (New York, 2015).
Circa 1977, a few years following the breakup of the Gutai group, Matsutani sought to distill his practice: "If you only have one paper and a pencil, what can you do with them?" the artist asked himself. Working exclusively with black graphite in an expressive manner, Matsutani covered a textured canvas or a monumental sheet of paper with repetitive, successive strokes. Through the building of layers, each mark and charcoal smudge captures the accumulation of energy and tension in a powerful manifestation of material and time.
In addition to the exhibition at Bergamin & Gomide, the artist will perform a parallel program at Japan House São Paulo. Created by the Japanese government in São Paulo, Los Angeles and London, the Japan House acts as a dissemination point for all elements of genuine Japanese culture to the international community by means of cultural programming and experiences open to the public.