717
717
Yamaguchi Takeo
CHOUFUKU (REPEAT)
Estimate
450,000650,000
LOT SOLD. 1,000,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
717
Yamaguchi Takeo
CHOUFUKU (REPEAT)
Estimate
450,000650,000
LOT SOLD. 1,000,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Yamaguchi Takeo – Composing Monochrome

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Hong Kong

Yamaguchi Takeo
1902 - 1983
CHOUFUKU (REPEAT)
signed, titled and dated 1958 in Japanese on a label affixed to the reverse, framed
oil on board
24 by 33 cm; 9½ by 13 in.
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Provenance

Private Japanese Collection

Catalogue Note

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Takeo Yamaguchi Artwork Registration Association

STRUCTURE

I choose a simple, basic form as the direct expression of a simple, clear reality. - Yamaguchi Takeo1

Choufuku (Lot 717) presents an austere geometric structure that is quintessentially "Yamaguchi"--wholly unique, iconic, and strikingly recognizable even from a distance. Possessing quiet yet commanding architectural integrity, Choufuku evidences Yamaguchi's steadfast allegiance to structure – the bare bones that underpin skin, form, and flesh. During his days as a student working with live models, Yamaguchi was less interested in reproducing the surface detail of the body than in grasping, and then expressing, what it was "to stand". Afterwards, in Paris, Yamaguchi made weekly visits to the atelier of Russian-French sculptor Ossip Zadkine and tried his hand in sculpture--a practice that greatly informed his painting.

Yamaguchi would later refer to his works as a kind of "two-dimensional sculpture"--one that translated three-dimensional objects onto the horizontal field of panel.2 Compared to the flatness of Kazimir Malevich's Suprematist paintings, which similarly employ stripped down configurations of geometric forms, Yamaguchi's structures possess corporeal density, mass, and tactility. The sense of touch is vitally important to Yamaguchi; he once said: "Gradually I put greater and greater value on the real or tangible existence [of the object] and the ability actually to touch it. Confirm the subject's existence by touch, then study its constituent parts, in other words, approach the subject scientifically".3

Such a scientific orientation, formed upon man's encounter with the world, differs yet again from Malevich's self-referential art that bore no relation to external phenomena. Yamaguchi's abstract forms evolved from--and thus are a distillation of--man, beast, plant, earth, and the entire cosmos. Without attempting to represent or narrate in any way, and in the absence of any signifiers, Yamaguchi's structures pictorialize or "write" down the invisible core essences of the world--much in the same way the first oracle bone scripts, the earliest known form of Oriental writing, were formed. One is prompted to think of Pierre Soulages's compositions, whose similar geometric, monochromatic, and pure non-signifying aesthetic recalls that of Oriental scripts; Soulages' was known to have said: "One fine day I realized that the drawings I was doing were reminiscent of Chinese characters".4

1 Exh. cat. Yamaguchi Takeo and Horiuti Masakazu, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1980, p. 242

2 Joseph Love, exh. cat. Takeo Yamaguchi, Minami Gallery, Tokyo, 1975

3 Refer to Note 1, p. 19

4 Françoise JAUNIN, "Noir lumière", interviews with Pierre Soulages, Lausanne, éditions La Bibliothèque des arts, 2002

Yamaguchi Takeo – Composing Monochrome

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Hong Kong