Whirlwind: Informel to Gutai
Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong is proud to present the group exhibition Whirlwind: Informel to Gutai, featuring the significant names in the trajectory of Japanese contemporary art, including Toshimitsu Imai, Hisao Domoto, Atsuko Tanaka and Yuko Nasaka. The exhibition showcases a rich selection of artworks that defines the era of liberation and pioneer art approach of the post-war period. These artists questioned the conventional rules and embraced individuality, bringing a new wind to the history of contemporary art.
In the post-war period, art individuals began to challenge art norms and the controlled traditional art gestures. Art Informel is an art movement from the 1940s to 1950s first started in France. It purses the spontaneity and freedom in art expression and experiments with surrealistic approach. Toshimitsu Imai and Hisao Domoto, who at that time were based in France, are the Japanese members of the art group. Imai, known for his use of organic colours and explosive brushworks, retains the Japanese aesthetic in his works that captures nature and art in tandem. Domoto garnered much attention due to his Abstractionist flair using thick oil paint with swirling dynamic forms in composition and intuitive properties. The two artists brought the idea of Art Informel to Japan in 1953, which created the Informel whirlwind that was to take over in the Japanese art scene. This also underpinned the rise of Gutai.
Founded in 1954, with the aim to go beyond abstraction and pursue enthusiastically the possibilities of pure creativity, Gutai Art Association emphasised that Gutai art does not alter matter but rather speaks of the delicate interaction between spirit and matter that ultimately enables art to tell a story. The name 'Gutai' was meant to 'present concrete proof that our spirit is free.' In the exhibition, artworks of the two female Gutai members, Atsuko Tanaka and Yuko Nasaka will be presented. Their admission to the association reflects its gender awareness, which confronted the gender subjectivity and low status of female artists at that time. Tanaka took inspiration from electrical diagrams, where uncounted circles are intertwined with lines. She consistently used synthetic resin enamel as mediums. With glossy matiéres and vivid colours, her creations have outstanding presence. Nasaka continuously experimented with materials, texture and colour through her constant circle paintings. Conveying infinity, circle becomes her lifelong motif for creation.****
Press release courtesy Whitestone Gallery.