Exhibition Tokyo

Yasuo Kazuki
2018.1.20 (sat) - 2.24 (sat)

Tokyo Gallery +BTAP is pleased to present the works of Yasuo KAZUKI. This is another exhibition of a yōga painter, or painters who used oil paint and Western styles, following the exhibition of Seiji CHŌKAI in May 2017. The works of both artists, which we exhibit with the objective of revisiting the origins of post-war art, share a commonality in their use of matière , or matter.
Yasuo Kazuki was born in Misumi-cho, in the Yamaguchi prefecture in 1911 (Meiji 44). In 1931 he entered the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakkou (present day Tokyo University of the Arts) and studied under Takeji FUSHISHIMA. His internment experience in Siberia after defeat in the second World War had a definitive influence on his art. He returned to Japan in 1947, and began his artistic practice the following year in his home in his native Misumi-cho, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.
From around 1953, Kazuki began to use fewer colors in his work, but following his journey to Europe in 1958, he discovered a new material by mixing charcoal powder with oil paint, eliminating its luster. These earth-colored paints on canvas became a characteristic of his style. After 1959, large canvases greater than size 50 (1,167×910 mm) were reserved for his Siberia series, and this theme did not change until his death in 1974.
After the war, as there was an influx of avant-garde techniques to Japan, artists were beginning to simultaneously recognize global perspectives and perspectives unique to Japan. While there is a difference between the work of Kazuki, who was directly involved in the second World War, and Chōkai, who was slightly his senior, a clear similarity can also be observed. This exhibition examines the development of post-war art which arrived at abstraction through déformer, or deforming, and encourages us to consider the succession of memory through art.