by Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick
Artist Takesada Matsutani’s work is full of movement despite its minimalism. The art represents both an intellectual physicality and expressive groups of creations that were recently brought together at the Los Angeles’ Arts District outpost of international gallery Hauser & Wirth. The self-titled show is Matsutani’s first LA solo exhibition and features three distinct periods of the Osaka-born, Parisian-based artist’s work. His earliest creations capture his contributions to the Gutai Group, a post-WWII collective of Japanese artists who used common materials for experimental expression. Matsutani’s offerings involved oozing, bulbous clumps of paint and products in vinyl glue—combinations that suggest the natural via the mass produced.
Most strikingly, the exhibition includes five works from Matsutani’s introduction to Paris, where the artist moved in 1966 and remains today. The paintings were made between 1970 and 1972 and are reminiscent of (and were, indeed, inspired by) American Minimalists like Ellsworth Kelly, offering meditations on interactive forms that resonate off the walls and each other.
The final, most extensive representations are from Matsutani’s Stream series, a body of work created from 1977 through the present. The artist downsized his ideas to the basics of pencil and paper. Here, Matsutani covers (and works with) canvas, wood, paint, and other materials under layers of graphite. To demonstrate how he creates, the artist began a new project within the gallery that features a stretched mixture of paint and vinyl glue across hundreds of feet.
The exhibition is a quick survey of the artist’s life and work, and it’s a wonderful domestic showing of an artist on prominent display at this year’s Venice Biennale. Opening tomorrow, 1 July, it will run through 17 September 2017.
Images courtesy of Takesada Matsutani and Hauser & Wirth