In Search of Form— Kakuzo Tatehana and Postwar Sculpture

The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama

poster for In Search of Form— Kakuzo Tatehana and Postwar Sculpture

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Influenced by his Wakayama-born father, who was also a sculptor, Kakuzo Tatehana (1919–2006) received a Special Prize at the Bunten Exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education while still a student at the prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts. During the prewar period, Tatehana’s sculptures were realistic and precise, winning praise for their traditional expressions of the human form, but an interest in new sculptural styles led him to study in Paris from 1953 through 1955, a period that solidified his ambitions as an avant-gardist. The English sculptor Henry Spencer Moore had a large impact on Tatehana’s work, which incorporated humor and motifs of familiar objects while pursuing an organic form based on the human figure. The use of plywood as a material gave his works a sense of movement within geometrical shapes. As he emerged as a vanguard of abstract sculpture, Tatehana went on to win more prizes and acclaim, including the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts and the title of Person of Cultural Merit. With major pieces from the museum collection, this exhibition traces Tatehana’s artistic development. Drawings donated by Tatehana’s family after his death also offer insight into the trajectory of his ideas as a sculptor, and a display of works by other postwar abstract sculptures provides a valuable glimpse into how Tatehana and his peers pursued sculptural expression in the postwar period.

[Related Event]
Exhibition Lectures
Dates: Apr. 29 (Tues), May 3 (Sat), May 6 (Tues), May 25 (Sun)
Please see the official website for details.

[Image: Kakuzo Tatehana “Alarm” (1972)



from April 22, 2014 at 9:30 to July 06, 2014 at 17:00
Closed on May 7 (Wed).


Kakuzo Tatehata



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