Atsuko Tanaka

Sakurado Fine Arts, Tokyo/Paris (SP33)

Atsuko Tanaka in her studio in Asukamura, Nara, 1999

Atsuko Tanaka in her studio in Asukamura, Nara, 1999

Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005) was a prominent female member of Gutai, the most important avant-garde artist collective in post-war Japan. She kept on creating work after she left the group in 1965, and achieved a true originality as an independent artist in her entire career. In order to reveal the historical significance of Tanaka beyond the legacies of Gutai and to place her in the global discourse of contemporary art, we present a fine selection of Tanaka’s drawings and paintings created in a variety of mediums and sizes between the early 1970s and 2000, which vividly reflect the continuity and diversity of Tanaka’s artistic expression.

As a whole, the presentation looks at Tanaka’s repetitive and systematic networks of circles and lines as a unique visual language which speaks of her “obsession with connectedness”. Tanaka is known for her sensuous cutting-edge performances and installations using everyday materials early on such as ‘Bell’ (1955) and the fluorescent garment ‘Electric Dress’ (1956), which she then transformed into drawings and paintings.