Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 70

Kumi SUGAI (1919-1996) Urban landscape, 1954...

result :
Not available
Estimate :
Subscribers only

Kumi SUGAI (1919-1996) Urban landscape, 1954 Oil on canvas signed lower right. Signed twice and dated on the back. 29.5 x 29.5 cm Exhibition: Kumi Sugaï, Paris, Galerie Craven, 1954 (Gallery stamp on back). Theoretically integrated into the "very young School of Paris" by Michel Ragon in 1954, and attached to Franco-French movements like many other artists of the time, Kumi Sugaï's work nevertheless responds to very personal criteria and is of a rare inventiveness. Influenced from an early age by Japanese prints and the lyricism that accompanies them, Sugaï left his native Japan to settle in Paris in 1953. He soon became part of the artistic circle of the time, and his first group show - organized by John Craven - took place from October 1 to 29, 1953, in tribute to Francis Picabia (who died a month later after a long illness). On this occasion, Sugaï presented L'Oiseau, a figurative and already abstract painting of a bird that made up his bestiary from 1953 to 1954. Only a year later, and as the critic Jean-Clarence Lambert - author of the artist's first monograph - points out, this group show opened the door to his first solo exhibition. In 1954. Again at John Craven's, where our painting will be exhibited. At this exhibition, the artist met Jean-Clarence Lambert and André-Pieyre de Mandiargues. They were immediately intrigued and convinced of the young Japanese artist's potential. Roger Van Gindertael, another Belgian art critic, saw in Sugaï's work a clear influence of Paul Klee. At first glance, our canvas may seem to be an obvious example of abstract expressionism. However, it is to the figurative period of the artist's Landscapes that this canvas should be linked. The urban scenes that make up these landscapes are, as Paul Klee put it, "abstract images with memories", organized in the manner of a Japanese garden. A native of Kobe, the artist integrated his personal history and chose the city as his subject of inspiration, at the expense of the countryside, which he found boring. Mandiargues would describe these paintings as "city-landscapes, mixing the vertical with the (predominantly) horizontal point of view". Floating, off-the-ground landscapes, then, perhaps in continuity with those famous images of a floating world (ukiyo-e) so beloved of the Goncourt brothers.