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Lot. 111

YAMAGUCHI Takeo

Title
COMBINATION OF TWO
Technique
oil on board
framed
Sign
signed, titled and dated on the label certified by the artist in Japanese characters
Certificate
with a label certified by the artist
Literature
”Yamaguchi Takeo catalogue raisonné”, Tokyo, 1981, No.85 、
Size
181.0×181.0 cm
Year
1954
Provenance
private collection, Japan
Estimation
HKD : 3,500,000 - 5,500,000
( USD 460,000 - 720,000 )  ( JPY 47,000,000 - 74,000,000 )


Price Realized
HKD : 5,780,000
Yamaguchi Takeo is famous as a pioneer of abstract painting in Japan. He stepped into abstract painting before the war and let him establish that style of painting after the war. However, Yamaguchi says that his clumsiness that made him suitable to abstract painting.
” I am clumsy, I could not draw it so well as any other person, so I thought. [...] Although the model is posing, I learn only the means as ”standing”, rather than describing the details, I thought so. Thing is in form of standing. I just thought about how to present by lines. ”
Yamaguchi, although respecting Cezanne, said that ”Do not look at Cezanne”, stuck to what Cezanne studied painting, that is, stick to the changes of the nature and things. It may also be affecting him as he was born in a family with vast fields in Gyeongseong. The persistence appears in Yamaguchi's color and ”form”. His drawing ”form” looks like geometric and seems to have vitality. The circle is distorted naturally; the lines are flowing vertically and laterally are also filled with dynamic feeling, changing the length and thickness. And he called yellow ocher and reddish brown as his own ”personality color”. Early his work has converged to these two colors and black. There is no vividness or sharpness, but it is primitive, warm, and gives robustness. Yamaguchi found nature in this color, and his own oriental roots.
Abstract trends also flourished abroad in Japan's art world around 1950, and Yamaguchi will be pushed to the forefront of contemporary Japanese art as a leading abstract painting in Japan. This work is his masterpiece with a history of being exhibited both at the 3rd São Paulo Biennale in 1955 where Yamaguchi was elected as a representative of Japan and at the 28th Venezia Biennale in 1956. It is a very valuable piece to see the moment when Japan's abstract painting by a writer who walked his own way with highly appreciated in the world.


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