Chiyu Uemae was born in Kyoto in 1920. After studying the Southern School of Chinese painting by himself, Uemae shifted to oil painting and became an apprentice to Jutaro Kuroda. Shortly after, however, he began experimenting with abstract painting. Uemae began studying under Jiro Yoshihara in 1953 and became involved in the founding of the Gutai Art Association in 1954. He showed his work at the first Gutai exhibition and every subsequent exhibition thereafter, remaining with the group until its dissolution. His distinctive oil paintings, which consist of multilayered material diligently built up from long pointillist patterns, brim with a gentle warmth that feels both profound and slight. In addition to paintings, Uemae also made "stitched" works inspired by his experience working as an apprentice at a dyed fabrics store during this youth, as well as sculptures made out of thread, wood and sawdust. His sculptural practice was also influenced by his memories of having seen smelting furnaces and construction sites at the metal casting factory where he worked as a crane driver to make a living. In 1999, the Osaka Contemporary Art Center held a solo exhibition of his work, while the Fukuoka Art Museum held "Chiyu Uemae and the Gutai Art Association" in 2005. His works are currently in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Osaka, the Les Abattoirs museum of modern and contemporary art in Toulouse, France, and the Pompidou Center in Paris.
NY Times mentioned about Chiyu Uemae
In the 1950s, the artists of the newly formed Gutai group of Japan worked fast and fearlessly, changing styles and mediums at will, staying abreast of the latest postwar developments abroad. The mood of this band of innovators was eclectic — and electric — as demonstrated by "Gutai: 1953-1959," an ambitious show at Fergus...