Thursday, March 14, 2013

Atsuko Tanaka

Atsuko Tanaka was a pioneering Japanese avant-garde artist. In 1955, Akira Kanayama had introduced Tanaka to his colleagues in an experimental art organization which he had founded called Zero-kai (Zero Society); she had soon joined this association. Tanaka’s pieces can be seen as abstract works that rejected conventional notions of how works of art should appear or “perform.”  Tanaka's works, which include abstract paintings, sculptures, performances and installations, generally feature objects from everyday life: textiles, door bells, light bulbs and the like. Her piece, Stage Clothes, produced in 1956, consisted of gigantic stick-figure frames draped with fabric and light bulbs, and an immense red dress with sleeves 30-foot (9.1 m) long sleeves. This turned out to be a multi-part ensemble that she wore at a Gutai performance. She had peeled off each layer rapidly in a costume-changing routine.

I chose to represent Tanaka similar to the way she represented herself in her piece, Stage Clothes. Tanaka literally inserted her body into the work of art, making herself a part of the performance. So I chose to insert her into abstract circular forms that are very similar to her abstract circular paintings.

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