• Art of Inspiration

    • After having participated in one of the most radical collectives of post-war Japan, she laid hiding until the beginning of the twenty-first century.

    Tsuruko Yamazak: rediscovering a veteran of Japanese contemporary art / 

    During the turbulent period that followed the Second World War, several artistic manifestations bloomed in Japan; collective movements were born and the names of creators that knew how to find a reflection at the time of mourning and recovery shined. In 1954 the Gutai Group emerged, which translates as ‘personification’ and ‘realisation’; the collective was founded by the painter Jiro Yoshihara, and was focused on finding the beauty of the decadence of objects, bodies, situations and life.

    One of the earliest members was the artist Tsuruko Yamazak (1925), however her work remained unknown and, in fact, we have yet to discover much of it. Her recognition came about due to a recent exhibition in France, which attracted the twenty-first century world’s eyes to this veteran creator that has been actively creating since last century. Yamazak’s work is charged with dynamism, her pieces are turbulent pictorial actions that appear to become unwashed before the eyes of the spectator. The materials that she has used are industrial enamels and solvents that would be hard to consider involved in the transparencies of her work.

    Her work covers a great spectrum of techniques and tendencies, although she has always maintained a personal seal that characterised her and set her apart from the other members of the collective. Her first paintings are plastic experimentations of the materials, contrasts between geometric designs and brilliant coloured unformed stains. Her palette is very characteristic up until her most recent pieces which brandish brilliant colours, pastels and are always movingly vivid.

    In January this year the octogenarian had an exhibition of her work in Tokyo, her pieces can now be found in the greatest auction houses and the recognition of her creations is international and undeniable. 

    Tagged: Japan, Japanese artists, painters, Tsuruko Yamazak, twentieth century art, inspiration