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(Born in 1967)
signed, titled and dated 'Atsushi Suwa; Untitled; 2004-05' in Japanese & English (on reverse)
oil, pencil, silver point and Washi paper on panel
130.3 x 162.1 cm. (51 1/4 x 63 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2004-2005
Kyuryudo Art Publishing Co., Ltd., Atsushi Suwa: Paintings 1995-2005, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 16-17. (illustrated)

Lot Essay

The intimate understanding of the subject is a crucial factor in generating Atsushi Suwa's Untitled. The static image of the human figures transmits both simple and complex themes such as loneliness, estrangement, love and isolation. Suwa uses a laconic subject as an auxiliary means to convey current manners and problems of ordinary life and to place emphasis on the basis of human motives and immoral activities.

Suwa's exceptional depiction of the human form is achieved by his attentive interaction with the subjects. The artist focuses on different areas of the canvas at a time, scrutinizing each part with conscientious diligence consequently building a deep understanding of his subjects. Approaching his subjects with a strong sense of perspective and realism, Suwa squarely measures the linearity and the size of the eye sockets, and compares it to the actual measurements of his models. The precision in his calculation of each depiction unveils his acute vision and comprehension of his figures as physical entities and psychological subjects. Suwa is committed to grasping his figure's individual stories. This intensity is emphasized by the silent, deep blue-grey tones he utilizes, generates a deep blue insomnia, particularly in conjunction with the figures lying on crisp white bed sheets. These sharp tactile creases in the bed sheet elevate the cold restless ambiance of this seemingly static, medical act of sex. Smooth and white, the rendered flesh resembles a frigid marble sculpture. As viewers we do not see the warmth of their flesh and are invited to scrutinize the individuals' sexual expression and inner emotions, even through the layer of varnish, which does not inhibit us in any way. Suwa looks to probe into the subject's inner core and attempts to visualize the individual's history and personal philosophy. His subjects' blank face may offer a vacant emotion of the subject but with Suwa's absolute familiarity with his subject's inner spirit, Suwa is able to paint an ambiance that translates effectively articulates his subjects' unconsciousness.

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