Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Yuko Nasaka (°1938, Osaka) one of the most prominent female voices of Gutai’s second generation. Invited by Jiro Yoshihara to join the Gutai Art Association in the middle of 1960s, she participated for first time in a Gutai group exhibition at Galerie Stadler in Paris in 1965. Nasaka presented her highly textured metallic paintings of concentric circles against shiny black walls, playing with light and dark shades exploring the reflective qualities of such contrasting surfaces. She experimented with non-art mediums, technology, and cutting-edge industrial materials like drills, car lacquer, and auto-factory air compressors.
Following the gallery’s 2015 exhibition, this new exhibition attempts to create a journey through Nasaka’s life and varied artistic practice, but decisively stays clear from offering a retrospective of her work. As the artist enthusiastically stated in an interview with Mizuho Kato:
I’m still alive so why should one set up all these retrospectives what’s going on here?
The exhibition includes artworks dating from the middle of the 1960s until the late 70s and presents for the first time her most recent production. These works have never been shown before. It is a humble attempt to explore Nasaka’s process of creation. For Nasaka, as for many other Gutai artists, the physical act of creation is of crucial importance. The meaning of a work reveals itself through the very tactile act of making the work. Her most recent productions (created between 2015 and 2017), distinguish themselves through their striking absence of the usual coloured lacquer finishing. This unusual absence decisively stresses the pure materiality of the work. This offers new forms of intimacy and a subtle invitation to participate in her creative process. The bare materiality of the circular shaped patterns could be interpreted as a more refined and contemplative gesture to create harmonious surfaces that evoke novel kinships with the forces of nature and the circular motions of life.
Press release courtesy Axel Vervoordt Gallery.