Gregg Baker Asian Art
Between the Lines
Suda Kokuta works on paper c.1960
22 June – 22 July 2017
21 JUNE 18.00−20.00
Mon- Fri 10.00−18.00
Following our November 2016 sell-out show Infinite Space featuring Post-war Japanese Avant-garde art which included several paintings by Suda Kokuta, Gregg Baker is pleased to announce the first solo show in Europe by this powerful Japanese artist. Encouraged by the desire of our clients to discover more about Suda Kokuta and his work, we intend to reveal another aspect of his talent by presenting works on paper created during the 1960’s.
Suda Kokuta (1906-1990) was one of the leading founders of Avant-garde abstract painting, an important area of Japanese art which have been largely ignored until recent years and is currently being rediscovered by art lovers across the globe. An influential and independent artist he was closely associated with many important figures and art groups such as Yoshihara Jiro, Yuichi Inoue, the Bokujinkai and the Gutai.
One is immediately struck by the strength of Kokuta’s compositions, the density of colours and the innovative textures used however finally it is the strong meditative force and sense of spirituality which lingers in the viewer’s mind.
Far from being secondary works or simple preparatory sketches for his larger oil paintings Kokuta’s works on paper are mature and complete works of art which reveal an intensity imbued by their creator. Known to have a strong belief in Zen, Kokuta is said to have meditated before launching his assault upon the canvas, adding or removing gesso mixed with oil, not hesitating to sew the hessian sacks together to form a strong base for his chosen medium and experimenting with the application of sand, shards of quartz and various tools to add texture.
This same spirit and attention to detail follows through into his works on paper where he fights with thick washi paper, giving each sheet an individual character, achieving three-dimensional space and unexpected reliefs. This dynamic creative process includes beating and scoring the paper, making it the martyred support of an artist in full transcendence, ready to transpose Kokuta’s every creative or destructive impulse. Each carefully crafted work is a perfectly balanced composition of abstract form which appears via a broad palette of thinly or densely applied gouache, embellished with silver or aluminium powder, rough sand and glistening mica giving the simple washi sheet a new dimension to captivate the eye of the spectator.