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Takesada Matsutani Biography

Born in Osaka in 1937, Takesada Matsutani is an internationally established Japanese post-war artist. A member of the influential Gutai group, he has become iconic for his experimental uses of vinyl glue and graphite pencil.

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Takesada Matsutani's work, spanning over 50 years, is defined by organic abstractions that offer in-depth investigations into materiality and form. From the mid-1960s, he was part of the second generation of the Gutai Art Association. Takesada Matsutani's art from this Gutai period revolved around the medium of vinyl glue, which had become widely available in Japan after the war.

Matsutani found himself attracted to vinyl glue's subtle three-dimensionality and organic appearance when hardened. First pouring the liquid onto canvas to harden as it dripped, he soon began experimenting with fans, hairdryers, and his breath to create curvaceous, bodily shapes, as exemplified in the visceral, fleshy relief forms of the series 'Work-63' (1963).

Immigrating to Paris in 1966, Matsutani joined William Hayter's printmaking studio, Atelier 17. After Gutai disbanded in 1972, inspired by his experiences in printing and engraving at Atelier 17, the artist quickly steered his art in a new direction. As a result, Takesada Matsutani's paintings and prints from the late 1960s and early 1970s saw a brief introduction of vibrant colours in hard-edged abstractions that combined curved and rectangular planes.

Later in the 1970s, inspired by Japanese philosophy and calligraphy, Matsutani began producing black-and-white graphite drawings on paper. In these works, graphite surfaces are made dense by repeated pencil strokes. The artist has continued this style for over 40 years with variations in scale and technique. In 10-metre-long Stream (1984), for example, he blanketed paper with graphite, leaving a horizontal white line down the middle, then applied turpentine to dissolve the graphite.

Vinyl adhesive has made regular reappearances in Matsutani's work in combination with graphite and paint. Works like Triangle-18 (2018) reflect an amalgamation of the artist's inventive methodologies; on a canvas blackened with graphite, he applied vinyl glue to a blown-up form he cut in half while drying, creating a shape akin to a smile, an opening flower, ripples, or wrinkles.

Takesada Matsutani's artworks have featured in exhibitions in Japan, Europe, the United States, and South America, and can be found in major public collections across the globe, including The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Takesada Matsutani lives and works between France and Japan.

Takesada Matsutani Solo Exhibitions include:

Takesada Matsutani: prints, 1967–1977, les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2020); Takesada Matsutani, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Currents, Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya (2015); Takesada Matsutani. A Matrix, Hauser & Wirth, London (2013); Matsutani Takesada. Stream, The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura (2010); Takesada Matsutani, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka (1963).

Takesada Matsutani Group Exhibitions include:

Confluence: Aliska Lahusen and Takesada Matsutani, Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow (2018); Viva Arte Viva, 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2017); Gutai, Splendid Playground, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); 14th Gutai Art Exhibition, Takashimaya Department Store, Osaka (1964).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020

Takesada Matsutani
featured artworks

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Cercle 16-3 by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork works on paper, print
Takesada Matsutani Cercle 16-3, 2016 Etching on BFK paper
90 x 63 cm
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Oblique by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Takesada Matsutani Oblique, 1996 Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil on canvas mounted on plywood
180 x 122 x 5.5 cm
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Black, White. Green-2022-11 by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Takesada Matsutani Black, White. Green-2022-11, 2022 Vinyl adhesive, acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas mounted plywood
91.5 x 63 x 4.5 cm
Almine Rech Request Price & Availability
A Drop / Une Goutte by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Takesada Matsutani A Drop / Une Goutte, 2018–2022 Vinyl adhesive and ink on canvas and cotton
140 x 140 x 5.6 cm
Almine Rech Request Price & Availability
MATSU113244-hires.jpg by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Takesada Matsutani MATSU113244-hires.jpg, 2021 Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil, acrylic on canvas
219.7 x 200 x 3.8 cm
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Point de contact-2021.8. by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork painting
Takesada Matsutani Point de contact-2021.8., 2021 Vinyl adhesive and acrylic on canvas
162 x 130 x 9 cm
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Propagation 15-2 by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork mixed media
Takesada Matsutani Propagation 15-2, 2015 Vinyl adhesive, acrylic on canvas and plywood
146 x 114 cm
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A Visual Point-A by Takesada Matsutani contemporary artwork painting
Takesada Matsutani A Visual Point-A, 1965 Acrylic, oil and vinyl adhesive on canvas
66.5 x 54.5 x 8.5 cm
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Takesada Matsutani
upcoming & recent
exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris +7
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