(Born in Kochi, 1923. Lives and works in Kochi, Japan)
Motonao Takasaki was a member of the highly influential avant-garde Gutai group, joining in 1966 until their dissolution six years later. He was one of the members participating in Gutai's first showcase in America, the 1st Japan Art Festival, alongside Sadamasa Motonaga, Kazuo Shiraga, and Jiro Yoshihara. His important early performances "Collapse" which involved the smashing of concrete blocks. His practice is characterized by the paradox of continuing unique expressions, which are at once avant garde, yet uniquely rooted in his hometown in Kochi prefecture.
He began creating his series Apparatus from 1963 - predating his involvement in Gutai - continues to this day as an ongoing series, with material and formal variations. The form - equally-spaced squares of white canvas - may initially give an inorganic impression, but each square is hand-bent for subtle differences, and their shapes alter slowly over time, creating shadows on the surface reflecting the instability of their material basis, giving an impression of some sort of presence larger that of canvas as mere material. The illusion of unlimited amplification repeating through this simple structure makes, even today, a strong impression on the viewer. While many of the Gutai methods of expressive, body-oriented artworks were highly influential on happenings, performance art, abstract painting, and environmental art of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Takasaki's minimalistic approach is finding new relevance now in the second decade of the 2000s.
Motonao Takasaki passed away at age of 94 on July 22, 2017. His greatest achievements will remain forever in the art history.
- Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Hyogo, Japan
- Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
- Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan
- Kami City Art Museum, Kochi, Japan
- Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka, Japan
- Miyagi Museum of Art, Miyagi, Japan
- Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan
- National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
- Osaka City Museum of Modern Art (Planning Office), Osaka, Japan
- Tosa Yamada-cho Art Museum, Kochi, Japan