Exhibiting Maekawa Tsuyoshi’s signature pleats of rough burlap, Untitled is archetypal of the Gutai artist’s iconic aesthetic. Maekawa’s singular method involves the artist weaving and gluing spiral-shaped pleats that jut out, at once organically and architecturally, creating curving pockets and lines reminiscent of the patterns in ancient Jomon earthenware. Coloured enamel is then poured over the textured surface, which together with the coarse burlap material results in a raw, primitive sense of power along with a paradoxical luxurious sense of graceful regality. Positioned at the liminal spaces between abstraction and figuration, painting and sculpture, Maekawa’s paintings contain traces of nature such as branches, leaves and water currents, as well as cultural iconographic signs like crosses, columns and grids. Yuling Wang writes: “If we imagine looking at the works from a birds-eye view, the burlap bumps resemble topographical lines, all kinds of fields, [or] the Nazca Lines, or fingerprints” (Yuling Wang, “The Paintings of Tsuyoshi Maekawa: Gutai and Beyond”, in exh. cat. Tsuyoshi Maekawa: Energy Extortionist, Whitestone Gallery, 2015, p. 8). While Italian artist Alberto Burri stuck burnt and ripped scraps of cloth onto his canvas, Maekawa’s method of cutting, folding and sewing brought to life the unique sculptural quality and expressive potential of cloth and fabric, coaxing out an extraordinary sense of authority and structural eloquence. Maekawa used burlap throughout his career, manipulating them into intuitive and commanding compositions that never diminish in their visual and visceral confrontations to the viewer.