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Yoshishige Furukawa (1921-2008)

 

Yoshishige Furukawa (b. 1921 in Fukuoka, Japan; d. 2008 in Kanagawa, Japan) earned his BFA in painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1943. He moved to the United States in 1963, and spent the subsequent decades between the United States and his native Japan.

His work is in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, the Fukuoka Art Museum in Fukuoka, and the Saga Prefectural Art Museum, among others. In the United States, Furukawa’s work has been exhibited in institutions including the Albright-Knox Museum, and during his lifetime he received two grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

beta pictoris gallery / Maus Contemporary represents the Estate of Yoshishige Furukawa (1921 - 2008). 

 

the artist in NY, 1972the artist in NY, 1972

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1963
oil on canvas
161,6 by 130,5 cm
63.6 by 51.4 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1965
oil on canvas
33,5 by 24,1 cm
13.2 by 9.5 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1965
acrylic on canvas
148,8 by 130,2 cm
65.6 by 51.25 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1966
acrylic on canvas
166 by 174 cm
65.75 by 68.5 in.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

No. 60

1968
oil and enamel on canvas
128,3 by 128,3 cm
50.5 by 50.5 in.

 

 

 

No. 60   (detail)

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

No. 61

1968
oil and enamel on canvas
123,2 by 123,2 cm
48.5 by 48.5 in.

 

 

 

No. 61   (detail)

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1968
acrylic on canvas
30,5 by 35,6 cm
12 by 14 in.

 

 

 

 

 Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1971
enamel, metal grommets, and acrylic on canvas
30,5 by 35,6 cm
12 by 14 in.

 

 

 

 

 Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1971
enamel, metal grommets, and acrylic on canvas
30,5 by 35,6 cm
12 by 14 in.

 

 

 

 

 Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1971
enamel, metal grommets, and acrylic on canvas
165,4 by 140,3 cm
64.8 by 68.25 in.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1971
acrylic, perforations, and canvas collage on canvas
173 by 165 cm
68 by 65 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1971
acrylic on canvas
31 by 35,6 cm
12.2 by 14 in.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
oil, gesso, canvas collage, and metal on canvas
164,5 by 173 cm
64.75 by 68 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
oil, gesso, and canvas collage on canvas
165 by 173,5 cm
65 by 68.25 in.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
canvas, wood
41 by 36 cm
16.2 by 14.2 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
canvas, thread, metal grommets, and industrial rubber on canvas
165,5 by 175 cm
65,2 by 68.8 in.

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
industrial rubber and metal grommets on canvas
29,5 by 29,5 cm
11.6 by 11.6 in.

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
industrial rubber and metal grommets on canvas
29,5 by 29,5 cm
11.6 by 11.6 in.

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1982
graphite and charcoal on Arches paper
ca. 29.75 by 41.3 in. (ca. 76,6 by 105 cm)


illustrated in Yoshishige Furukawa 1921 - 2008, published by the Fukuoka Museum of Art to accompany the
artist's retrospective Museum exhibition, Feb 7 - March 15, 2015, page 67 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

click on logo to read the review Rob Clayton wrote on Yoshishige Furukawa's exhibition "Black Rubber Sheet" for Hyperallergic

 

 
Yoshishige Furukawa spent his career testing the limits of painting through a dedicated engagement with American art trends and unconventional materials. beta pictoris gallery is thrilled to present works from Furukawa’s Black Rubber Sheet series, a body of work which began and evolved through the 1970s.

A formal evolution is evident in a chronological examination of the works from Furukawa’s Black Rubber Sheet series. The earliest paintings are monochrome yet playful due to Furukawa’s use of rough-hewn geometric shapes, where edges of appliquéd canvas are allowed to fray, and grommets and the heads of nails run a wavering line across the composition. White paint unifies these elements while highlighting their forms; as time progresses, however, Furukawa rejects this whitewashing in order to showcase the inherent colors and textures of his materials. Raw canvas ripples across these picture planes, alongside sheets of rubber whose uneven surfaces, flaws, and rips are elevated into artistic gestures. The anthropomorphic aspect of these works becomes increasingly evident as the series progresses: peachy-pink canvas resembles skin; a crevice formed between grommet-pinched sheets of rubber appears like a corset.

Furukawa wrote in 1997 that, “I am most interested in developing a visual space with color and forms on a visual plane…When I am out walking, I may see a road, a construction site, working people, a tree, or the sky, and I try to incorporate the feeling of these visual physical things in my work. All of them have the power to cause me to ponder the relationship between the physical shape or material and mental reaction.” In the Black Rubber Sheet series, Furukawa’s experience of the 70s—New York City streets, Minimalist art—is distilled into these evocative works, which gesture at many things while remaining ambiguous, and a bit coy.

 

Japanese artist Yoshishige Furukawa’s paintings shown in the Black Rubber Sheet exhibition date from 1972 to 1976, and are part of, or relate to, the artist’s important and rare black-rubber-sheets series created while living in New York, where the artist moved to from Japan in 1963. The non-color of black and the solid sense of the material of rubber reflected a rather reticent and ascetic impression of 1970’s art. Despite this, the various variations that were woven by the black geometric forms in triangles, squares and polygons continued to evoke dynamic senses of motion and expression that were alike in appearances but different in nature from the regularly repetitive element inherent to Minimalism.
Furukawa’s Oeuvre was recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. The paintings shown here were included in said retrospective, and several of them are included in the exhibition’s publication.

 

click image to read the articleclick image to read the article

click image to read the article

 

 

 

installation view of the exhibition "Black Rubber Sheet" at beta pictoris galleryinstallation view of the exhibition "Black Rubber Sheet" at beta pictoris gallery

 

installation view of the exhibition "Black Rubber Sheet" at beta pictoris galleryinstallation view of the exhibition "Black Rubber Sheet" at beta pictoris gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

No. 60  VARIATIONS

January 24, 1968
oil and enamel on canvas
84 by 84 cm
33 by 33 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

SA-12

ca. 1967
oil and enamel on canvas
84 by 84 cm
33 by 33 in.

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1972
oil, gesso, and canvas collage on canvas
127,5 by 125 cm
50.25 by 49 in.

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1973
canvas and thread on canvas
182 by 227 cm
71.5 by 89 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-3

1975
canvas, rubber, and thread on canvas
84 by 89.2 cm
33 by 35 in.

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

Untitled

1975
canvas, rubber, metal and thread on canvas
192 by 229 cm
75.5 by 90 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-6

1976
canvas, rubber, and thread on canvas
88.8 by 89.6 cm
35 by 35.25 in.

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-7

1976
canvas, rubber, metal, and thread on canvas
84.5 by 89 cm
33.25 by 35 in.

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-9

1976
canvas, rubber, and thread on canvas
84 by 89.2 cm
33 by 35 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-12

1976
canvas, rubber, and thread on canvas
83.7 by 89 cm
33 by 35 in.

private European collection

 

 

 

 

 

Yoshishige Furukawa

C-17

1976
canvas, rubber, and thread on canvas
84 by 89.2 cm
33 by 35 in.

private US collection