KANNO Seiko/Work

1968 ca. | acrylic on paper | 72.6 x 72.4 cm

KANNO Seiko/Work

Commentary on work

Seiko Kanno is one of the members of the “third generation” who joined the Gutai Art Association from the mid-1960s onward. Her works impress viewers with theoretic and delicate compositions. At first glance, this work, painted with ruling pens, looks like a diagram or a fine metallic mesh. The work is characterized by an inorganic composition that excludes any emotional expression, but it in turn stirs one’s poetical imagination. While engaging herself in painting, Kanno also composed poems. When this work was created, the artist was a member of an experimental, avant-garde group of poets, and she was composing highly visual poems using symbols and katakana syllables. In this context, this work represents an art that merges poetry and fine art. The work also suggests her inclination toward music, which she had loved since her childhood. At the same time, the work indicates her potential interests in physics and mathematics, to which she became devoted in her later years. In this sense, this work represents the epitome of her extensive creative world.

Brief biography of artist

born in Sendai in 1933, died in 1988 at the age of 54.

Kanno (nee Aizawa) began painting and composing poems in her high-school days. After graduating from the Faculty of Human Development and Culture at Fukushima University, she submitted abstract paintings to publicly sponsored exhibitions. Kanno moved to Kobe upon her marriage and started to create collage works. From 1964 onward, she showed her works to Gutai art exhibitions (as a member since 1968). In 1965, she moved to Tokyo, accompanied by her husband who was transferred there by his company. Joining an art study group, led by a poet, Seiichi Niikuni, Kanno composed semiotic poems and used geometrical patterns and symbols in her paintings. In 1971, Kanno published an anthology Mr. SU and held a solo exhibition at Gutai Mini Pinacotheca. Eager to deepen her knowledge in physics and mathematics, she attended university classes as an auditing student. Her later works were inspired by her interest in these subjects. The first large-scale retrospective was organized by Miyagi Museum of Art and Ashiya City Museum of Art and History in 1997.

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