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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Sadamasa Motonaga

(1922 - 2011), Japan

Sadamasa Motonaga (Japanese, 1922–2011) was an abstract painter, and one of the leading members of the Gutai group. Under the guidance of Jiro Yoshihara, Motonaga decided to pursue a career in painting rather than his original desire of becoming a cartoonist. However, the sense of humor that pervaded his earlier works remained an important element in his paintings throughout his career. He was known for balancing cheerful, funny, comical, friendly, easy-to-understand, and inviting elements with sophisticated, elegant, and poetic designs.

Motonaga also experimented with various styles of expression, such as bold abstraction, using drips, as well as traditional Japanese painting techniques. He also utilized industrial materials. He later created more defined spaces with straight and curved lines—based on ideas he generated during his two-year stay in New York. Also during this time, Motonaga began to expand into printmaking, stage design, and children’s books.

Motonaga participated in international exhibitions in Italy, New York, France, and Spain, among other places, winning awards such as the Légion d’honneur from the French government. He also received the Purple Ribbon Award, issued in the name of the sitting emperor of Japan; Motonaga was the first abstract artist to be given this award. His works are in the collections of every major Japanese museum, as well as in other institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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Featured Artworks

Work 145 by Sadamasa Motonaga contemporary artwork
Sadamasa MotonagaWork 145, 1964 Oil and synthetic resic on canvas mounted on board
136.3 x 274.4 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Sen Green by Sadamasa Motonaga contemporary artwork
Sadamasa MotonagaSen Green, 1971 Oil on canvas
130 x 162 cm
de Sarthe

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Gutai at Hauser & Wirth, New York
Closed
1 November–22 December 2018 Group Exhibition Gutai Hauser & Wirth, 69th Street, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

Japanese Gutai in the 1950s: Fast and Fearless Related Press Japanese Gutai in the 1950s: Fast and Fearless The New York Times : 14 June 2018

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...

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