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(1942 – 2019), Japan

Sekine Nobuo Biography

SEKINE Nobuo was born in 1942 in Saitama prefecture, Japan. He received B.F.A in Painting at Tama Art University in 1968, where he studied under artists Yoshishige Saito and Jiro Takamatsu. Since graduation, he has worked actively as the central figure of Mono-ha in international exhibitions. Mono-ha, literally translated as the 'School of Things', was a pivotal art movement in the formation of postwar Japanese modern art. In 1968, Sekine Nobuo composed the work Phase-Mother Earth, widely considered as marking the beginning of the movement, and is one of the most iconic artworks of this period in Japan that is influential to the future developments of earth, installation, and minimalist art in Asia. Sekine Nobuo's artistic experimentations manifest the tranquility of Zen philosophy through the theories of topology (study of the properties of space). By disposing matters to continuous change in form while retaining its natural quality, he seeks to unveil the intrinsic quality of matters through varying perspectives, which in turn questions interrelation between the matters and audience as the change takes place. His compositions range from large-scale earthwork, installation of natural and industrial materials, space-specific life-size sculpture, and flat-surface works that explore the materiality of painting media.

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Sekine Nobuo represented Japan in the 35th Venice Biennale with Phase of Nothingness series in 1970, and later he has also participated in biennales in France, Japan, and Korea. In 2001, his works were included in the exhibition Century City at Tate Modern to honor his contribution in Japanese modern art.

His important exhibitions include: Parallel Views: Italian and Japanese Art from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, The Warehouse, Dallas, TX, US, 2013; Prima Materia, Punta Della Dogana, Venice, 2013; Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, Museum of Modern Art, New York, US, 2012; Reconsidering Mono-ha, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2005; Phase of Nothingness—Black, toured Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway, from 1978-1979. His works are collected by public institutions, such as Hara Museum in Tokyo, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Kawagoe City Art Museum, National Museum of Art in Osaka, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Louisiana Museum in Denmark, Kröller-Müller Museum in Netherlands, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in USA.

Text courtesy Asia Art Center.

Sekine Nobuo Featured Artworks

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Phase of NothingnessóEarth Circle by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase of NothingnessóEarth Circle, 1975Bronze
5 15/16 x 35 7/16 x 35 7/16 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Phase of Nothingness–Pole by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase of Nothingness–Pole, 1976/2013Wood
229.9 x 91.4 x 38.7 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Phase of Nothingness—Skin 078 by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase of Nothingness—Skin 078, 2016Acrylic on canvas, wooden frame, plywood
102 x 81.5 cm
Asia Art Center Contact Gallery
G25-7 by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Sekine NobuoG25-7, 1987Mixed media and gold leaf on paper
80.4 x 65.3 cm
Asia Art Center Contact Gallery
B30-7 Baroque Window by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork painting, sculpture, mixed media
Sekine NobuoB30-7 Baroque Window, 1989Mixed media
91 x 72.8 cm
Asia Art Center Contact Gallery
Phase of Nohingness - stumpage by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase of Nohingness - stumpage, 1972Bronze
45 x 24 x 10 cm
Kamakura Gallery Contact Gallery
Phase No.9 by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase No.9, 1968Wood, lacquer and plywood
52 x 160 x 65 cm
Kamakura Gallery Contact Gallery
Phase of Nothingness—Earth Circle by Sekine Nobuo contemporary artwork sculpture
Sekine NobuoPhase of Nothingness—Earth Circle, 1975Bronze
5 15/16 x 35 7/16 x 35 7/16 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery

Sekine Nobuo Recent Exhibitions

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Sekine Nobuo Represented By

Asia Art Center contemporary art gallery in Taipei, Taiwan Asia Art Center Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei
Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
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