Lin & Lin Gallery is delighted to present GUTAI-3M, a group exhibition of works by 3M artists Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Takesada Matsutani and Shuji Mukai. Running from 14 May to 26 June, the show will bring the works of 3M artists from differernt periods of time from 1960s to 2010s.
Tsuyoshi Maekawa was born in 1936 in Osaka, Japan, and was a core, second-generation member of the avant-garde Gutai Group. He, Shuji Mukai, and Takesada Matsutani are known collectively as the 3M artists. Most of Maekawa's paintings focus on materiality and are composed of rich textures made from burlap that has been cast in molds, cut, sewn or layered to create uneven, relief surfaces. To this he adds thick layers of pigment, or uses painting techniques, such as splattering, dripping or staining, resulting in an extemporaneous or accidental quality. The work is not only faithful to the process materials undergo, but also reveals their primal beauty. Based on these material-focused works, Maekawa is a representative second-generation Gutai Group artist.
Takesada Matsutani was born in 1937 in Osaka. His work was included for the first time in a Gutai Group exhibition in 1960, and he became a second-generation member of the group in 1963. Matsutani later went to Paris to study and settle down, and continued to participate in the Gutai Group until it disbanded in 1972. In his most well known works, Matsutani covers his canvases with large quantities of white glue and then uses an electric fan, drinking straw, or hair dryer to set the surface of the liquid glue. This produces curious textures as the glue swells, fissures, and puckers. With this technique, Matsutani creates surfaces that are entirely different from, yet still recall a sensory experience of, human skin. In this same experimental spirit, he later combined white glue and graphite to create unique works in which his signature white-glue skin textures are covered with graphite lines. Breaking through the conceptual limitations of painting, Matsutani has pioneered new imaginative possibilities between two and three dimensional forms—his work is both painting and sculpture.
Shuji Mukai was born in 1940 in Kobe, Japan. He studied at the Osaka School of Art (today's Osaka college of Art), where he became acquainted with Sadamasa Motonaga. When Mukai was 19 years old, his work was included in the Eighth Gutai Art Exhibition. He is famous for work consisting of rhythmic, all-over pattern that is nonrepresentational and seems to go on forever. In these experimental compositions, he layers various lines and symbols that spread like tendrils across the canvas. He collages coils, books and even sections of canvas to construct his imaginative worlds, which extend over two-dimensional space, three-dimensional objects, and even entire rooms and the artist's own body. In 1961, the artist completed Room of Sign (symbol room), a three-dimensional space built of canvas with all visible surfaces covered in his hand painted marks. The artist's own body was also on display as a part of this unique work. Room of Sign was recreated for the 2013 New York Guggenheim Museum's retrospective of the Gutai Group on surfaces in the Museum's elevator and bathroom, and included countless tiny symbols. Museum visitors were given a chance to imagine the impact that his avant-garde works must have had a half-century before.