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Takesada Matsutani
Gutai Object, Paris Period



Important organic abstraction of polyvinyl acetate adhesive on vinyl by Takesada Matsutani (Japanese, b. 1937). Titled "Objct" on verso. Signed and dated (1983) on verso with "Japan, Paris, S.F" delinated. Condition: Good: some bending and creasing to thinner edge areas top center and all corners, vinyl on lower right corner and under signature. One image shows a patch of vinyl tape, this is the artists access port for adding air under the acrylic glue to pump up the area. Unframed. Image size: 47"H x 37"W. x 3"D. From the early sixties to the early seventies, Matsutani was a key member of the ‘second generation’ of the Gutai Art Association (1954 – 1972), Japan’s innovative and influential art collective of the post-war era. One of the most important Japanese artists working today, Matsutani’s paintings and performances from throughout his practice demonstrate the ethos of Gutai, translated into an artistic language that is uniquely his own. In the 1960s, Matsutani began experimenting with vinyl glue, a material that first entered into mass production in Japan following World War II. Matsutani deposited the glue onto his canvases and allowed it to run down the surface. Matsutani recalls ‘The glue began to drip and as it dried, stalactites formed, which looked like the udders of a cow’. Inspired by the shapes of blood samples he had observed, Matsutani developed this technique further, using hairdryers, fans and his own breath to create bulbous forms reminiscent of the curves of the human body. This painting exemplifies these early experimentations with vinyl glue, a material that continues to fascinate the artist to this day. In 1966, Matsutani moved to Paris and began working at William Hayter’s renowned print-making studio, Atelier 17. When the Gutai Art Association disbanded in 1972, Matsutani was able to transition from the artistic style of his Gutai period into a radical yet consistent new body of work, informed in part by his experience at Atelier 17, in which he expressed a greater depth of understanding of pictorial space and composition. Matsutani’s later paintings bring together the artist’s signature media, vinyl glue, with graphite. In a marked difference from the raw rendering of his early works, Matsutani carefully controls the glue as it moves across his canvases, making or deflating pockets of air and creating new ridges, wrinkles and crevices as the adhesive hardens. Matsutani then covers the surface in methodical, almost meditative, graphite lines. The shapes created resemble the unbridled energy of a crashing wave or the inside of a seed preparing to germinate, whilst the graphite reflects light, teasing out hints of texture, depth and volume.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Good. Some bending and creasing and a few splits on corners and leading edges. .
  • Dimensions

    H 47 in. x W 37 in. x D 3 in.

    H 119.38 cm x W 93.98 cm x D 7.62 cm

  • Gallery location
    Soquel, CA
  • Reference number
  • Seller reference number

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