Yutaka Matsuzawa

1/1
next

Yutaka Matsuzawa at Yale Union, June 30–August 18, 2019. Courtesy of Yale Union. Photo by Leif Anderson.

Yutaka Matsuzawa at Yale Union, June 30–August 18, 2019. Courtesy of Yale Union. Photo by Leif Anderson.

Yutaka Matsuzawa, The Nine Meditation Chambers (detail), 1977. Courtesy of Yale Union. Photo by Leif Anderson.

Yutaka Matsuzawa, Contemplate a White Circle in This White Sheet of Paper (Swan Song), 1976. Courtesy of Yale Union. Photo by Leif Anderson.

Yutaka Matsuzawa, Symbol Poem No. 4, 1954. Collection of Matsuzawa Kumiko.

Yutaka Matsuzawa, Untitled, c. 1960–63. Collection of Matsuzawa Kumiko.

Yutaka Matsuzawa, Untitled, c. 1960–63. Collection of Matsuzawa Kumiko.

Yutaka Matsuzawa at Nonaka-Hill Gallery, September 7–October 5, 2019. Courtesy of Nonaka-Hill.

Yutaka Matsuzawa at Nonaka-Hill Gallery, September 7–October 5, 2019. Courtesy of Nonaka-Hill.

Mitsutoshi Hanaga, Matsuzawa Yutaka’s Psi Zashiki Room in Shimo Suwa, 1969. Courtesy of the artist and Nonaka-Hill Gallery.

Mitsutoshi Hanaga, Matsuzawa Yutaka performing with his 1966 Banner of Vanishing (Humans, Let’s Vanish, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Gate, Gate, Anti-Civilization Committee) at Mount Misa, Shimo Suwa, 1970.
Photo © Hanaga Mitsutoshi. Courtesy of Mitsutoshi Hanaga Project Committee.

Yutaka Matsuzawa (b. 1922 Shimo Suwa / d. 2006 Shimo Suwa) was a pioneering conceptual artist whose practice covers much of the second half of the 20th century. His practice was driven by a strong distrust of material civilization, shaped by experiences he witnessed during World War II. He developed an immaterial conceptualism that can be pictured in two stages.

In the first stage, between the years of 1957 and 1964, he devised his Theory of Psi, which was inspired initially by parapsychology and later by non-zen Buddhism and quantum physics. This resulted in a body of surrealistic Psi works that were object-based, but spectacularly so, as he accumulated them in what is known as his Psi Zashiki Room.

The second stage, which began in June 1964, in response to a Revelation he experienced, by hearing a voice telling him to“ Vanish objets!” This objets is a Japanese term denoting collages and assemblages, incorporating every day objects, and thereafter he formulated an object-less, text-based practice. He called it the art of kannen.

Matsuzawa’s practice based on kannen, which commands viewers to see with their mind’s eye, encompasses a number of strategies ranging from institutional critique to the idea of the art object itself and the exhibition and ownership systems that such an object is considered under. These dematerialized explorations helped form an idea of what an alternative civilization would be which he sought to formulate for the future of humankind.

Education

BS in architecture, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Researcher, Wisconsin State College-Superior (now University of Wisconsin-Superior)

Grants

1956-1957
Japan Society Fellow
1955-1956
Fulbright Fellowship

Selected Exhibitions and Performances

2020
Yutaka Matsuzawa: Towards Quantum Art, John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, USA
2019
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, USA
Yutaka Matsuzawa: Co-curated by Alan Longino and Reiko Tomii Originated by Yale Union, Portland, Oregon, Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles, USA
Yutaka Matswuzawa, Yale Union, Oregon, USA
2017
From Nirvana to Catastrophe: Matsuzawa Yutaka and his ‘Commune in Imaginary Space, OTA FINE ARTS, Tokyo, Japan
2016
Aru Hyogen, Chino City Museum of Art, Nagano, Japan
2015
Under Seabed Mandala, Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart, Germa
2014
Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan
Begin with Vanishment, MISA SHIN GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
2013
Anti-Academy, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK
Rereading Yutaka Matsuzawa, Museum Haus Kasuya, Yokosuka, Japan
Antigravity, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan
Beyond Corrupted Eye Akumulatory 2 Gallery, 1972-1990, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Krakow, Poland
2012
Capturing time, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan
2011
The Concept Sublime: 35 Years Brigitte March Gallery, Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart, Germany
Sculpture In So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960-75, ZieherSmith, New York, USA
2010
Tracks of Art, Chino City Museum of Art, Chino, Japan
Der erste Impuls – Skizzen – Zeichnungen – 1958 – 2010, Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart, Germany
2009
Silent, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan
Hommage à Yutaka Matsuzawa – Installation / Joseph Kosuth – Installation, Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart, Germany
2008
PERFORMING THE CITY – Kunst Aktionismus im Stadt Raum 60er und 70er jahre – Lothringer13, Städtische Kunsthalle München, Munich, Germany
Into the Atomic Sunshine – Post War Art under Japanese Peace, The Puffin Room, New York, USA
2004
IN BED, Images from a Vital Stage, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan
Vanishment and Future : Works of Yutaka Matsuzawa and other works selected by him, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan
2003
Yu Mist Ho, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan
2002
Slanting House/Statements by artists in Japan since 9.11, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Eighty Years Problem - Genmei Kouan, Museum haus Kasuya, Yokosuka, Japan
2001
Century City, Tate Modern, London, England
1999
Global Conceptualisme : Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
1998
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Komagane Kogen Art Museum, Komagane, Japan
1997
To spiritualism Yutaka Matsuzawa 1954-1997, Saito Memorial Kawaguchi Museum of Contemporary Art, Kawaguchi, Japan
1995
Quantum Art Manifesto, Museum Haus Kasuya, Yokosuka, Japan
1994
Yutaka Matsuzawa memento mori, Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum, Yamaguchi, Japan
1993
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Seabed Mandala in BRIGHT LIGHT, Temporary Contemporary-Zeitgenössische Kunst an einem Ort auf Zeit, Schloss Presteneck, Stein am Kocher, Stadt Neuenstadt, opening Manfred Schneckenburger (director of documenta 6 and8 Kassel, curated and realized by Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
1992
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Eshiki-Ron Kasaya in FORCE SIGHT, Temporary Contemporary-Zeitgenössische Kunst an einem Ort auf Zeit, Schloss Presteneck, Stein am Kocher, Stadt Neuenstadt, opening Jean-Baptiste Joly, Akademie Schloss Solitude, curated and realized by Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
1991
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Nothing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim II), No Places
1990
Yutaka Matsuzawa : New Pieces, in Art Meets Science and Spirituality in a Changing Economy (A.M.S.S.), Fodor-Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, Nine Places, (Psi Pilgrim II), San Fransisco, U.S.A.
1989
Concept Art curated and organized by Brigitte March Gallery (Eshiki-Ron Kasaya), Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation with Stalke Gallery
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim), Nine Places, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim II), Old Student House, Helsinki, Finland
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim II), Konsthogskolan, Stockholm, Sweden
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim II), Nine Places, San Fansisco, U.S.A.
1988
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Eshiki-Ron On „Kasaya“ IIIX, in Gabelung with Kazuo Katase, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Water ; Under Fire and After Man, (Psi Pilgrim II), Nine Places, Berlin, Germany
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Quantum Art Manifesto, Berlin-Tokyo-Exchange, Wewerka Gallery, Berlin
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim II), Nine Places, Copenhagen, Denmark in Concept Art curated and organized by Brigitt March Gallery, Stuttgart (catalogue)
1987
Solitude Echos-Realisierte Projekte von Schloss Solitude-Pläne und Projekt von 1986 (Solitude Echos-Realized Projects of Solitude Castle 1986) curated and organized by Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart in the Space of Kunstverein Ludwigsburg e.v., Germany
Yutaka Matsuzawa : After Man, (Psi Pilgrim I), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Fransisco, U.S.A.
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Water and Under Fire, (Psi Pilgrim II), Museo Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid, Spain
1986
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Water & Fire, in Apocalypse in Contemporary Art - From The Death of Saoul, Yokohama Civic Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
Yutaka Matsuzawa : After Man, in Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, 22nd Artists Today, exhibition, Yokohama Shimin Gallery, Yokohama Schloss Solitude-Pläne und Projekte (Castle of Solitude-Plans and Projects), Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany, (catalog) Solo exhibition Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Under Seabed Mandala (Performance) Civic Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim I), in Japon des Avant- Gardes, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Water, (Psi Pilgrim I), Art Com, San Francisco, U.S.A.
1985
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Water, (Psi Pilgrim I), performance, Königslplatz, show in Prozess und Konstruktion 1985 in München, Kunstlerwerkstätten, Lothringenstraße 13 (Process and Construction 1985 in Munich, Artist Workshop, Lothringerstaße 13), Munich, International Workshop Project organized by ‚Archives of Contemporary Thought Lodz‘ and Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, in cooperation with Landeshauptstadt München Kulturreferat, Germany - Opening Manfred Schneckenburger (Former Director of Documenta Kassel 6 and 8 ; All Artworks were donated by the Artists to the City of Munich care of Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, (dokumentation Dr. Barbara Wörwag, Stuttgart) Art for Peace, Hamburg
Japan Ushimado International Art Festival
The Japanese Avant-Garde 1945-1965, Oxford
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Nine Mandalas, Brigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
1984
Performances at NSW Art Museum in Sidney, on the ice at Lake Suwa, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Christian Snow ABCD Gallery, Paris
Yutaka Matsuzawa, FURK ’ ART 84 : Under Water and Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim I), curated by Marc Hostettler, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Directions in Contemporary Art - The 1970’s and After at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo
Japan International Art Festival at Ushimado in Ushimado, Okayama Prefecture
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Under Water and Vanishing Streamer, (Psi Pilgrim I), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Swan Song Mandala, (Psi Pilgrim I), Artestudio, Ponte Nosa (B.G.)
Yutaka Matsuzawa : Eshiki-Ron On „Kasaya” I, Paris-Tokyo-Exchange,ABCD Gallery
1983
Yutaka Matsuzawa’s Psi Box, limited Edition, nine different media from Zokeisha - in
Directions in Contemporary Art - The 1960’s at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
1982
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vanishing Mandala, (Psi Pilgrim I), peace art action and performance, Lake Ikeda in Kyushu, Lake Suwa in Nagano, and the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima
Solo exhibition at Okazaki Tamako Gallery, repeated annually in 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986
1981
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vanishing Mandala, (Psi Pilgrim I), Katia Pissalo, Gallery, Paris, France
1979
Permanent member of Academia Tiberina in Rome in recognition of pioneering role in conceptual art Inscription of vanishing message on World Foundation Stone for Art in Mittelburg, the Netherlands the following year 1980
1977
Yutaka Matsuzawa : The Chamber of Nine Meditations, Sao Paulo Biennale, award winner, prize in Catastrophe Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1976
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Seven Italian Artists and Seven Japanese Artists, Italy Culture Center, Tokyo
1974
Catastrophe Art, Centro de Arte y Comunicación, CAYA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Concept of Art Insurrection to the world
1972
Nagano Prefecture Shinano Art Museum, Nagano, Japan
Documenta 5, Kassel
1971
Sonsbeek ´71, Arnhem, NL (with Carl André, Joseph Beuys, Daniel Buren, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Walter de Maria, Dan Graham, Donald Judd, On Kawara,, Sol LeWitt etc.) Travel to England, the Netherlands
Announced concept of World Revolt to the world
Built tree house Meditation Platform
1970
Exhibition of My Death by invitation of Mainichi, Japan International Art Exhibition Concept
Art Exhibit, Im Tachispiel Gallery, Innsbruck
1970 Summer Exhibition, Art and Project Gallery, Amsterdam
Contemporary Japanese Artists, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
Participation in international exhibitions expands greatly from this year on 10th Tokyo
Biennale, Between Man and Matter, Tokyo, Japan
Nirvana For The Final Art, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan
1966
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vanishing of Matter 1966, at Modern Art Center of Japan Naiqua Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Contemporary Art Festival Saikai, Osaka, Japan
1965
Gifu Indépendant Art Festival, Gifu, Japan
1964
In June 4, revelation to get rid of objects ! - start of conceptual art
1963
Yutaka Matsuzawa, Solo Exhibition with Psi, Aoki Gallery, Tokyo
1960
Participation in Development of Surreal Painting exhibition and, in 1961, the Experiments in Modern Art exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
1958
Exhibition of Psi series at Yomiuri Independent Exhibition, Tokyo
1953
5th Yomiuri Independent Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
13th Bijyutsu Bunka Art Association Exhibition, Japan
1952
4th Yomiuri Independent Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
12th Bijyutsu Bunka Art Association Exhibition, Japan