Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016) | MU-750 | 1975
What is guaranteed?
The Property of a Lady
Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016)
Showa period, 20th century
bronze, signed in Roman script Azuma and numbered 2/3, 1975
45 cm., 17¾ in. wide
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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Azuma Kenjiro (1926-2016) was born in Yamagata city, Japan. In 1961 he joined the Movimento Punto, established in Milan by the Chinese-born abstract painter, Hsiao Chin, (b.1935), as a representative of Japan and as the only member using sculpture as their main creative medium. After joining the Tokyo University of the Arts in 1949, he travelled abroad to Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in 1956, commencing his time in Italy where he remained for six decades. In 1960, Kenjiro joined the workshop of the famous Italian artist Marino Marini (1901-1980), who repeatedly reminded him: “Azuma, remember that you are Japanese…”. Following his master’s advice he decided to empty his studio of all the work he had created until then, beginning on a personal artistic quest that had its roots in an “unconstructed beauty, something that can only be felt by a Japanese; iron that is rusting, a house that is falling apart, the invisible element that is behind material, the full and the empty…” These reflections on the meaning of infinity and the life cycle brought him to the realization of his first bas-reliefs entitled MU.
Mu is the Japanese character for 'nothing'. MU-750 is a representative piece in the series; its abstract shape containing prominent geometric elements. Its surrealistic undertones are characteristic of the Punto Art Movement, while visually echoing other Italian sculptors of his time such as Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926) and Marino Marini himself.
In 1963, Kenjiro was awarded the Japanese National Museum of Modern Art prize, followed by a touring exhibition across seven major museums in the United States.
For another example of the artist’s work in the collection of the Vatican Museums, inventory number 22970, go to: