Manabu Mabe ( Brazilian, 1924 - 1997 )
Along with many fellow Japanese in the 1930s, Manabu Mabe immigrated to southern Brazil as a young boy. During the day, Mabe and his family worked on the coffee plantations, and in the evenings he continued his Japanese education. His academic and literary training were critical to his formation as an artist, as demonstrated by his use of calligraphic brushstrokes in later works. In Sakuhin, the artist methodically builds up layers of paint saturated in diluents such as kerosene and turpentine. The result is a strikingly smooth surface with minimal texture. Working with highly diluted pigments allowed Mabe to modify the shapes that emerged in his work by rubbing and smearing forms until satisfied.
Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.