Chiyu Uemae

oil on board
72 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches

Chiyu Uemae was born in Kyoto in 1920. As a young student, he attend the Southern School of Chinese painting, but in 1953 began studying under Gutai leader Jiro Yoshihara. In 1954, Uemae became involved with the founding of the Gutai Art Association. He showed in the first Gutai exhibition and every subsequent Gutai exhibition until the group dissolved in 1972. His earliest oil paintings of this era featured built up layers of colorful, pointillist patterns that vibrated with a dense energy. Like his earlier works, this untitled painting from 1994 has an allover, densely layered surface. Instead of a dot pattern, though, a loosely-painted, yellow rectangle is the motif. The rectangle provides an opening for the black background, as well as other yellow lines behind it, and creates a complex sense of dimensional space where the shapes appear to be floating at different depths. Similar to his densely layered paintings, Uemae has also created fabric wall works and sculptures, inspired by an apprenticeship at a dyed fabrics store he held as a young man. In 1999, the Osaka Contemporary Art Center held a solo exhibition of Uemae’s work, and the Fukuoka Art Museum mounted Chiyu Uemae and the Gutai Art Association in 2005. His works are currently in the collections of National Museum of Art, Osaka; Les Abattoirs Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Toulouse; and Pompidou Center, Paris, among others.

estimated retail value: $80,000

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courtesy of the artist and whitestone gallery, tokyo
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