Gutai , as artists say, springs from everyday life, and is unrestrained creation. They distance themselves from traditional rarified art techniques, and constantly defy the limits of forms and materials in their painting. Dynamic lines and bright colours fill the canvas in Motonaga's signature style. In 1955, he joined the Gutai group and staged solo exhibitions at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary art, the Otani Memorial art Museum, and the Mie Prefectural art Museum.
UNPREDICTABLE SERENDIPITOUS BEAUTY
Inspired by traditional Japanese tarashikomi ("dripping" in Japanese) painting techniques (Fig.1), Motonaga refrains from mixing colours before pouring or dripping pigments directly onto canvas. Via the use of turpentine and resin, the colours flow freely into delicate patterns and form complex and varied shapes and textures. This series from the 1950s to the mid- 1960s sits at the core of Motonaga's creation. Colours spread in the absence of imposed limits and, blending and transforming, they brim with a spirit of organic allure. Untitled (Lot 427) displayed at the 1965 "Motonaga exhibition"(Fig.2), embodies such elements as simple yet strong lines with dynamic directionality, waves upon colour patches and interrupted lines that generate interaction. Bright red colour patches appear like flower petals, while the area of colour backflow resembles stamens; the combination of warm and cold colours produces a subtle visual effect. Work (Lot 426) and Untitled (Lot 429) are suffused with a sense of activity in its shifting layers and through the differing techniques of varying directional control and spilling in the lower base colour. Sprinkling and dotting navy blue, light green, light yellow, and ochre, the colours surrounding all four sides seem to burst into natural bloom, like a burning flame. Like red, Three Colours, Dim (Lot 428), a work full of interesting propositions, visual vocabulary similar to graffiti and cartoon art, is the most common motif in Motonaga's later works. His lively and absolutely flat images recall the style of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. The works of these two are invariably charged with the two-dimensionality so emphasised in traditional Japanese features.