Kumi Sugaï Kabuki 1958

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 404 The David Geffen Galleries

Sugaï covers this large canvas with sweeping brushstrokes, forming shapes that evoke the costumed figures of Kabuki theater, a traditional Japanese art form. The artist had been living in Paris for six years when he made this work, which he considered to be “purely personal” as opposed to “simply ‘abstract.’” His gestural brushwork suggests calligraphic script. Rather than writing something, he instead emphasizes the act of painting and its materials: the dry bristle marks trace his movements, and the gold paint adds flares of color to a mostly black image.

Gallery label from 2023
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
57 1/2 x 44 5/8" (145.8 x 113.3 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
26.1959
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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