The result is an immense series of calming, delicate works such as Work B. 184 and Work C. 80, which include colour planes and stripes that assume their own individual character and significance upon the surface of the canvas. Yamada’s technical and intellectual approach to abstraction made his work a rarity in post-war Japan, and his repertoire has been linked to that of Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin and Ellsworth Kelly, key proponents of American abstraction. Born in Tokyo in 1930, Yamada began exhibiting professionally when he was just 19 years old, and by the mid-1960s his work had garnered international appeal in a spectrum of foreign exhibitions including those at Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, The National Museum of Art, Stockholm, Galerie Denise René, Paris and at the 19th São Paolo Biennial, São Paolo.
Work B. 184 and Work C.80 are fundamentally bound by their reduction of form, their chromatically coordinated colour schemes and their spatial, linear planes. In their quietness the viewer loses any sense of temporal dimensions, and consequently, the present lots are exceptional examples of Masaaki Yamada’s ephemeral and transitory painterly realm.
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