Chiyu Uemae (Japanese, born 1920) Red Dots 1971/1982

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Lot 34*
Chiyu Uemae
(Japanese, born 1920)
Red Dots
1971/1982

Sold for £ 15,000 (US$ 20,718) inc. premium
Chiyu Uemae (Japanese, born 1920)
Red Dots
1971/1982

signed in Japanese and dated 1971.6 and 82.7 on the reverse
oil on board

33.2 by 24.4 cm.
13 1/16 by 9 5/8 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Seisho Gallery, Tokyo
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner


    Chiyu Uemae was one of the earliest adherents of the Gutai group, joining in 1954 alongside founder members Kazuo Shiraga and Jirō Yoshihara, under whom Uemae studied. Born in Kyoto in 1920 Uemae and enrolled at the Southern School of Chinese painting focusing on Nanga before transitioning his style towards Western art. In 1947 he won first prize at the annual exhibition of Niki-kai staged by the members of the Nika-kai movement before being awarded his first solo show in Manazuru in 1951.

    Uemae showed his work at the first Gutai exhibition and every subsequent exhibition thereafter, remaining with the group until its dissolution in 1972. His style was characterised by repetitive gestures and a focus on seemingly unremarkable materials such as sawdust, matches and general detritus from the studio, lending such humble components majesty and beauty. His canvases were often stitched together and were redolent of his experience working as an apprentice at a dyed fabrics store during this youth. His interest in unusual materials and genres developed to the point that later in his career he devoted himself to embroidered abstract works and textile pieces, a practice that has become celebrated throughout the world. In 1999, the Osaka Contemporary Art Center held a solo exhibition of his work, while the Fukuoka Art Museum held Chiyu Uemae and the Gutai Art Association in 2005. Uemae is one of the only remaining living artists from the Gutai group. His works are currently in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Osaka, the Les Abattoirs museum of modern and contemporary art in Toulouse, France, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

    The present works, lots 34 and 35, represent two exquisite examples from the artist's mid-career and as such both demonstrate the confidence of an artist in full flow and at the height of his powers. Repetitive gestures in deep red and midnight black, they marry the preoccupations of the artist at the dawn of his career in the Gutai movement with the intensely personal developments made in his own practice during the intervening years.
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