ARTIST INFO

Etsuko NAKATSUJI

 Nakatsuji was born in 1937 in Osaka. On graduating from senior high school, she started working for Hanshin Department Store in which she was assigned to the public relations department to be in charge of graphic design. Alongside her job, she also joined a group of fine artists where she worked mainly on life drawing and oil paintings. She left her job in 1962, the year she exhibited in “The 5th Contemporary Art Exhibition” and began her career as a full time artist.
In the following year she held a solo show at Tokyo Gallery in which she exhibited human shaped objects called “Poko Pin,” cute yet strange looking figures in various forms. Since then she been creating up until today works that feature “The shape of humans” in a variety of mediums including paintings, illustration books and objects. These were originally inspired by the objects she had made for your son. These human shapes were composed of various elements. Without a neck to separate the head and body, they have a lean torso with matching thin long legs. Neither with noses nor ears, their eyes are sometimes just dots or glaring at other times, with eccentric hair styles. Adorable but weird, they have a strong presence.
 From the mid-70s, she developed two-dimensional works featuring human shapes composed only of contours of the face or eyes and in her recent paintings, eyeless human shapes have become evident. The shapes, furthermore refined, with organic curves and straight lines accompanied with a minimal color palette, draws in the viewers and even hints out the nature of “humans” or our “bodies” as a functional container. At the same time encountering such notion, viewers are to realize the limitless minds we human beings behold, which is too vast to be contained totally.

Works

  • Title
    Afterimage of Memory - Human Figure -
    Size
    116.7×91cm
    Year
    2017
    Medium
    acrylic on canvas
  • Title
    Afterimage of Memory - Human Figure -
    Size
    91×72.7cm
    Year
    2013
    Medium
    acrylic on canvas
  • Title
    Human Figure - Two Sides of the Same Coin -
    Size
    35 x 14.5 x 11cm
    Year
    2015
    Medium
    wood, acrylic
  • Title
    Afterimage of Memory - Human Figure -
    Size
    116.7×91cm
    Year
    2017
    Medium
    acrylic on canvas
  • Title
    Afterimage of Memory - Human Figure -
    Size
    91×72.7cm
    Year
    2013
    Medium
    acrylic on canvas
  • Title
    Human Figure - Two Sides of the Same Coin -
    Size
    35 x 14.5 x 11cm
    Year
    2015
    Medium
    wood, acrylic

CV

1937
Born in Osaka
1955
Graduated from Mikunigaoka Public High School, Osaka, Japan
Joined Hanshin Electric Railway Department Store, Osaka, Japan.
1962
Left Hanshin department store advertising section to start creative activities.
1966
tayed in NY with her husband Sadamasa MOTONAGA (-1967)
1982
Started working as an instructor of art and design at Sugetsuryu patriarch school, Osaka, Japan

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1963
"Solo Exhibition" Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
2000
"Installation-World of Etsuko NAKATSUJI - Humans, Colors, Shapes" Otani Memorial Art Museum
2002
"Thinking of Life Etsuko NAKATSUJI and junior high-school students" Itami City Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan
2017
"Etsuko NAKATSUJI" Hyogo Guest House Prefectural Government Museum, Hyogo, Japan.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1962
“Contemporary Japanese Art Exhibition” Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
1974
Invited to exhibit at the “11th Annual Japanese International Art Exhibition” Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
1992
“Contemporary Art Through the Eyes of Children” Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Hyogo, Japan
2001
“Bienále ilustrácií Bratislava 2001” Special Exhibition with production on site, Bibiana - Medzinárodný dom umenia pre deti, Slovakia