(B. 1969)
inscribed 'oil on canvas 162 x 103.3 cm. (100F)' in English; dated '2008'; signed with artist's signature (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
162 x 130.2 cm. (63 3/4 x 51 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2008
Private Collection, Japan
Phaidon Press Ltd., Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Sources, London, UK, 2010 (illustrated, pp. 132-133).
The National Museum of Art Osaka, Fifth Anniversary Exhibition: Garden of Painting - Japanese Art of the 00s, exh. cat., Osaka, Japan, 2010 (illustrated, p. 6).
Bijutsu Shuppansha, BT Magazine ArtNavi, Tokyo, Japan, January 2010 (illustrated, p. 5).
Artist Publishing Co., Artist Magazine, Taipei, Taiwan, February 2010 (illustrated, p. 136).
DAIGOSHOBO, Seasonal Opinions on Visual Facts, Vol. 4, Kyoto, Japan, February 2010 (illustrated, p. 43).
Yomiuri Shimbunsha, 'Culture', in Yomiuri News, Tokyo, Japan, 4 February 2010 (illustrated, p. 23).
Bijutsu-Nenkansha, Shin Bijutsu Shimbun, Tokyo, Japan, 11 February 2010 (illustrated, section 2, p. 8).
Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd., Sankei Express, Issue 1127, Tokyo, Japan (illustrated, unpaged).
Bijutsu Shinchosha, Bijutsu Shincho, March Issue, 2010, Tokyo, Japan (illustrated, p. 135).
Osaka, Japan, The National Museum of Art Osaka, Fifth Anniversary Exhibition: Garden of Painting - Japanese Art of the 00s, 16 January- 4 April 2010.

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Izumi Kato's Untitled (Lot 1325) is at first glance, an abstraction of fluid colours which like oil, swirl against one another. While this is due to the artist's technique of using tools such as a palette knife to smoothly slather the colours over the canvas, the liquid like slivers of colour additionally convey the allusive, baby-like figure that has become Kato's signature subject. The baby often seems enveloped in a protective bubble, perhaps an embryonic sack in which he hides but peers inquisitively out to the world. In Untitled, Kato renders his subject with exotic green and yellow eyes, blue face and deep red chest, which imbues a surreal almost psychedelic effect. In his hands he holds two germinating seedlings which grow at such speed it surpasses the edge of the canvas. At once the figure is artificial in his rendition yet appropriately exemplifies the initial stages of human or natural life eliciting sentiments of comfort, mystery and serenity as though we as viewers, sense a familiarity in the womb-like construction of the painting. Holding our gaze tightly, the androgynous figure captivates the viewer with his swirling and hypnotic eyes.

Izumi Kato strives to paint a subject that is easily recognizable but perhaps more complex to decipher. Francis Bacon, Van Gogh are artists who Kato believes successfully did so in favouring the human figure but distorting it to convey the emotions of the artist. Kato does something similar with the elongated body, enlarged round head and large flat nose of the figure, an almost tribal and simplified interpretation. This primitivism is complemented by a careful spatial composition and a further consideration of how his colour palette can manipulate the interpretation of the body.

This exceptionally outstanding painting by the artist has been featured in several publications including Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Sources and cited as one of the most important Japanese contemporary artists by one of the ten curators and was also exhibited at Fifth Anniversary Exhibition: Garden of Painting- Japanese Art of the 00s at the National Museum of Art Osaka (2009-2010). Izumi Kato's paintings and sculptures can also be found in the collections of the Hara Contemporary Art Museum, Takahashi Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi in Japan.

More from Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

View All
View All