In 1956, Atsuko Tanaka (1932 – 2005) gave a performance while wearing a sculpture called Electric Dress, which was made from 200 blinking incandescent lightbulbs, and tubes covered in red, blue, yellow and green enamel paint. The concentric circles and circuitous lines of this Untitled painting were directly inspired by that performance.
The figure 8-shaped painting brims with an energy; a vivid record of the artist’s gestural applications of layers and skeins of multicolored acrylic paint on a sheet of canvas on the floor. Tanaka was a member of the Gutai, a group of Japanese artists active between 1954 and 1972. The group’s name means “embodiment” or “concrete,” which refers to their aim of bringing materials together with the body and physical actions.
Photographed in The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan