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MASAAKI YAMADA (JAPAN, 1930-2010)
MASAAKI YAMADA (JAPAN, 1930-2010)

Work C. 98

Details
MASAAKI YAMADA (JAPAN, 1930-2010)
Work C. 98
signed and dated in Japanese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
130.3 x 80.2 cm. (51 1/4 x 31 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1961-1962
Provenance
Satani Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Sale room notice
Please note that the Chinese title of Lot 630 is Work C. 98.
拍品編號630之中文標題應為 《Work C. 98》。

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Lot Essay

MASAAKI YAMADA - A LIFE DEDICATED TO PAINTING

After a hard beginning in life, Masaaki Yamada found refuge in painting, and the result of that is utter peace. Born in 1929, Yamada spent World War II in the Draftsman Training School in Tokyo, followed by engineering studies. It is only after the war, in the 1950s that he stepped into the Japanese art scene. Defined as an extremely prolific artist, his oeuvre comprises of 5,000 works, categorized into various series, one of which entitled "Work". To make up for lost time, he started with Cubic still life painting, using Cézanne's work as a guiding path. However, he quickly explored new routes to find a voice of his own in abstract art. This transition follows art historical movements, a few steps behind: he evolved from Cubic still lives, to Cubist fragmentation, to dissembling the pictorial space and bringing it to one dimensional space, to minimalist and repetitious stripes, to geometric expansion of color planes. Such transitions can only reveal an inner quest in the ultimate act of painting.

THE POWER OF LINES

His "Work C" series consists mainly of stripes of carefully balanced colors, not entirely straight, intentionally dripping into one another, and with differing thicknesses. Work C. 98 (Lot 630) is an early example of the series and beautifully renders a powerful yet subtly constant movement throughout the canvas. The artist masters the balance between colors and thickness of the lines, resulting in a long and contemplative process of creation. The contrast between the unusually vertical format and the horizontal composition offers a window through which the viewer can catch a fleeting glimpse into the artist's world.

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