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MASAAKI YAMADA    (1929-2010)

Born in Tokyo in 1929, Masaaki Yamada is a remarkable figure in Japanese Post-War art world.
During his artistic exploration stretching for almost 6 decades, he coherently and meticulously explored abstraction in its several nuances, creating a complex and intimately connected corpus of artworks.
Three major series are identifiable in his production:
Still-Life (1948-55), in which he decomposed the forms of still lives into their essential lines and shapes to converge into semi-abstract compositions. Work (1956-95), characterized by geometric forms such as stripes and squares; in this series, that is regarded as the most accomplished in his production, he evolved from geometric forms similar to the ones that could be noticed in certain seminal works of Josef Albers to artworks characterized by softly delineated stripes in soft colors, in a style similar - but de facto pre-dating - Agnes Martn’s most recognizable paintings. Color (1997-2010), in which he explored subtle shades of a single color, different in each composition.
While object of several exhibitions in Japan during his life, it is mostly after the ground-breaking retrospective Exhibition "endless: The Paintings of Yamada Masaaki" at The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto in 2016, that Masaaki Yamada started to gain traction and to be recognized worldwide.

Masaaki Yamada: Text


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WORK C. 87

Oil on Canvas

Signed, dated and artist’s seal in Japanese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
65.2 x 45.6 cm. (25 5/8 x 17 6/8 in.)
Executed in 1961

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WORK C.267

Oil on Canvas

Signed (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
117 x 117 cm. (46 1/8 x 46 1/8 in.)
Executed in 1965-1966

9530 Masaaki cropped resized.jpg


Oil on Canvas

signed and dated 1990 in English and Kanji on the reverse and numbered F.36 on the stretcher
oil on canvas
162 x 112 cm. (63 3/4 x 44 1/8 in.)
Executed in 1961-1962

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WORK C.030

Oil on Canvas

signed and dated in Japanese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
34 x 24.5 cm. (13 3/8 x 9 5/8 in.)
Executed in 1963

Masaaki Yamada: Our Artists
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