On the occasion of our Paris gallery’s reopening, Sakurado Fine Arts is delighted to present “Between the Lines”, a solo exhibition of Masaaki Yamada featuring selected paintings from his Work series (1956-95). Influenced by Paul Cézanne’s still lifes in his early years, Yamada gradually established a unique painting style, embracing an internal logic based on form and color in the confinement of his atelier in Japan that led him to pure abstraction in the 1950s.
Yamada’s body of work is divided into three periods. His career began with the series Still-life (1948-55) which depicted vessels and fruits in a style influenced by Paul Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi. Yamada gradually disassembled the forms, resulting in works composed of multiple planes of color and shallower pictorial spaces that led to his second and most influential series: Work (1956-95). He furthered his search for pictorial flatness by covering the entire canvas in a single hue in the third and final series of his oeuvre: Color (1997-2010). The evolution of Yamada’s style, dismantling figurative painting to pure abstraction without being swayed by any other contemporary trends, appears flawless. Each work is a further exploration of the last, giving the impression that Yamada’s entire oeuvre is one single progressive painting that came to completion in 2010 with the artist’s death. Some 5,000 pieces Yamada left in his lifetime, embodying a turning point in the history of Japanese Modern Art, are under reevaluation for their unique position, garnering increasing international interest in recent years.