上前 智祐 Chiyu UEMAE1920–2018

2022.11.5 – 12.18



‘My hands are trained to do everything, to inscribe the images of my brain through the nerves on the selected material.’
— Chiyu Uemae
Shun Art Gallery is honored to announce that Chiyu Uemae’s (1920-2018) Printmaking Exhibition “Quadrangle” will be held in Fuxing Space. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Shanghai, presenting 24 prints from the artist’s mature stage, with original works covering his masterpieces from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1920, Chiyu Uemae started his artistic career with the Gutai School founded by his mentor Jiro YOSHIHARA, the founder of the avant-garde Gutai School. In 1953, he went up to meet Yoshihara, after which the artist participated in all Gutai exhibitions until the group disbanded. Yoshihara’s requirements for Uemae were extremely strict. He has been overthrown and rebuilt over and over, honing his style from the other members of the Gutai.

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About the artist

上前智祐 Chiyu UEMAE

Chiyu Uemae was born in Kyoto prefecture, Japan in 1920. Chiyu Uemae’s career began with his involvement in the Gutai Group, which was founded by his hard-won mentor Jiro Yoshihara (the founder of the avant-garde Gutai group). In 1953, Uemae meets Yoshihara, since then, the artist takes part in every Gutai exhibition until its dissolution. Uemae, unlike many of his Gutai peers, is not known for using action as the basis of his mixed-media works.

Prior to joining the Gutai, Uemae had studied Nanga and western movements, but believes his most formative experience was an apprenticeship in Kyozome or the Kyoto style of dyeing. Because of this training, as well as a childhood immersed in non-figurative design, the practice of sewing became paramount to Uemae’s mature style. His mixed-media paintings sometimes feature textile elements, but are characteristically identified by his careful compositions comprised of fine dots or patterns. Chiyu Uemae’s wide-ranging creations from two-dimensional works which are composed of pattern accumulation by painting knives or of sensitive stitches to sculptural works made of cloth or wood or sawdust. He remains active in his 80s and 90s, still producing etchings and silkscreens.

Uemae participated in several historical Gutai exhibitions including the International Art of a New Era: Gutai and Informel exhibition; Gutai Art Exhibition in New York, Martha Jackson Gallery (1958); The Continuité et Avant-garde au Japon, International Centre of Aesthetic Research, Turin, Italy (1961); Groupe Gutai, Galerie Stadler, Paris (1965); NUL 1966 Art Exhibition, Netherlands (1966); Gutai Art Exhibition at Expo70, Osaka (1970). And recently his works were included the exhibitions; GUTAI: The Spirit of an Era, the National Art Center, Tokyo (2012); Destroying the Picture – Painting the Void 1949-1962, Los Angeles MOCA(2012); GUTAI: Splendid Playground, the Guggenheim Museum, New York(2013); Parallel Views: Italian and Japanese Art from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, The Warehouse, Dallas(2014).

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