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Indianapolis Museum of Art to Introduce Work of Contemporary Japanese Painter Tawara Yusaku
Tawara Yusaku, Dai Heigen (Green Plains), 2002, 5 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. Loan from Mrs. Kayoko Okada.
INDIANAPOLIS; IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art will present the first large-scale exhibition of works by Tawara Yūsaku, a contemporary Japanese artist known for his highly energetic brushstroke. Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku, on view from November 11, 2011, to April 1, 2012, will feature works inspired by Tawara’s belief that the universe is unstable and constantly changing. Executed primarily in ink on paper, his works use the cumulative effect of many brushstrokes to create powerful and expressive works, apparent in even his smallest 3 in. x 5 in. paintings. Although Tawara eschewed representational art, many of his paintings recall traditional ink landscapes or other forms in nature.

“With this exhibition, the IMA will introduce the inventive and insightful vision of Tawara Yūsaku to an American audience,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “Tawara’s great strength is an ability to create works that simultaneously exist in the realms of contemporary art and traditional Asian art, and are also strongly influenced by Buddhist concepts.”

“Tawara’s distinctive vision of reality was transformed into immensely complex paintings filled with monumental energy,” said John Teramoto, curator of Asian art at the IMA. “Essentially he took motifs oft-employed in calligraphy and painted them—creating exciting effects that could never be executed with only a single brush stroke.”

Tawara saw all existence as composed of vibrational energy, made up of wavelike forms he called “hadō.” Fundamentally based on Buddhist thought, Tawara translated his vision of reality into paintings with intense visual impact. Highlights of the exhibition include several renditions of the Japanese character “ichi,” which means “one.” Traditionally executed in a single stroke in calligraphy, Tawara painted these ichi with his method of layering innumerable brushstrokes.

Featuring 77 works, mostly in ink on paper, Universe Is Flux will introduce audiences in the United States to this artist’s unique philosophy and its impact on his paintings. The exhibition will feature works created in the 1990s, following Tawara’s several decade hiatus from painting, as well as pieces created just before his death in 2004. Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku will be on view in the Thompson Gallery and Hurwitz Gallery.



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