Art Fairs

Frieze New York 2018

03.05.2018 - 06.05.2018
Randall's Island Park
Frieze New York 2018
Tsuyoshi MAEKAWA, 1963 G 100-3, 1963. Burlap, oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm
The paintings of Tsuyoshi Maekawa (°1936, Japan) are not to be interpreted as direct representations of something. They are without any reference other than to the act of making them. To create his work,
Maekawa randomly places pieces of a jute rice bag onto a canvas, then cuts, sews and folds the material and pours whole cans of colored enamel paint over it. He does this without having a preliminary concept in mind; the act of intuitively creating the work itself is more important than and determining for final result. The brightly colored textures of the work make it dynamic and show the fighting spirit of the artist. The abstract images they create can be associated with the beauty of true nature, but the artist insists on the viewer making his own associations, which can be very different from the artist's personal view.
Maekawa's works are very tactile. One could say that the visual impression of his work is extracted from its tactility. The viewer sees his paintings the way he feels them. The sensitive interpretation of Maekawa's
paintings does not stop at their surface, which only acts like a skin, hiding a much deeper and less
straightforward level of interpretation.
In 1962, Maekawa joined the Gutai Art Association. In order to become a member of Gutai, an artist needed to be accepted by the  Gutai leader, Jiro Yoshihara, who insisted on artists being as original as possible. "Create something that has never been created before in a way that was never used before," was his saying. Maekawa, who artistically expressed himself by manipulating textile, had caught the attention of Yoshihara in 1959, when he first exhibited at the 8th Gutai Exhibition at the Kyoto Municipas Museum of Art, at that time not being a member. About this first encounter with Yoshihara, Maekawa recounts:
"In 1959, then not being a formal member, I exhibited in the 8th Gutai Exhibition at Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and I became a member of Gutai in 1962. Gutai usually didn't invite entries from nonmembers, but in that year, the association, like other koboten (open exhibition) groups, allowed nonmembers to exhibit,
probably because the site was spacious enough. I was advised to exhibit by Gutai member Shozo Shimamoto, an acquaintance of mine then. Everything started with the exhibition […] On the first day, I saw Jiro Yoshihara and his wife sitting in the inner part of the lobby, which made my heart pound; and I heard that Yoshihara wanted to see me, and I came to him to pay my respects. Yoshihara, who looked very happy, asked me about my work and other things […] I called Yoshihara to tell him that I'd like him to see my work. I soon arranged a truck to carry my work to his house […] Yoshihara, carefully watching each one, highly praised the pieces. I deeply appreciate his judgment […] Yoshihara said: "For the next Gutai exhibition, leave all these pieces for Gutai members to see them." When I visited him again on the day they were to select the entries for the
exhibition, they had decided on my work for it, and Yoshihara asked me: "What do you think of these? I'd take all of them to the exhibition place, Takashimaya Department." I presented myself for every travelling exhibition of Gutai that year, and now I remember being ironically told by other members of Gutai exhibitions were like my solo exhibitions."
Maekawa stayed with Gutai until 1972, the year when Yoshihara died and Gutai ended.
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
Frieze New York 2018
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