Work, No. 1


Sadamasa Motonaga ( Japanese, 1922 - 2011 )

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General Description

Sadamasa Motonaga’s paintings of the late 1950s and early 1960s embody the ideologies of the Gutai Art Association, specifically an interest in chance that emphasized bodily action as fundamental to the creative process. This work demonstrates the artist’s exploration of new approaches toward object making and his fascination with natural materials, particularly water. To achieve the oozing, flowing shapes found here, the artist would first prepare the canvas with an underdrawing and then pour paint along the contours of the composition. Much like his American contemporaries, including Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler, Motonaga was interested in experimenting with the compositions of pigments, pouring puddles of paint and attempting to control chance through his handling of paint.

Excerpt from

Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 172.