top of page

Nobuo Sekine


9th February, 2019 (Sat) – 16th March, 2019 (Sat)

Hours:12:00~19:00, closed Sundays

YOD Gallery is delighted to present our third exhibition by Nobuo Sekine (b. 1942), a central figure of Mono-ha, which has gained worldwide recognition as an art movement. 

In 1968 Sekine created the monumental work “Phase – Mother Earth”, which is today regarded as the starting point of Mono-ha. Since, he has produced artwork in various media, and continues to work vigorously in his Los Angeles studio. The focus of his work lies in topological contemplation, but his creative process includes drawings that depict the finished work in detail. This exhibition consists of reimagined drawings of Sekine’s sketches mainly from the 1970’s. This is a valuable opportunity to glimpse the mind of the artist at the time he was creating his iconic works, as well as a chance to contrast these works with the artistic expressions and values that are dominant today, a half-century later. Please join us to see these rare works in person. 

- Artist’s commentary- (Bijutsu Techo magazine, Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha, February 1970) 

Modern society is sometimes called an information society, but there is real danger here that all things will be treated on merely the conceptual level or in name only. The over abundance of information will then begin to work on individual feeling, food-training it at first and then enslaving it. 

 And all the while, we find at the bottom of all this mess and confusion in modern society the conceptual framework which says that one side determines the other. It is this that has run afoul. For instance, if it is true that the purpose of art is to define and produce the world in terms of one’s own personal theories and views, then this would be to create a single defined space. But in fact, just because something is a defined space or a single viewpoint or a single position does not assure its universality, and this means that the artist must trust his fortune to the hazards of time and circumstance. In this sort of conceptualization of art, one defined space after another is constructed and tossed out on the world. But if this is all art means, then no matter what new and different defined spaces or what proclamation of new concepts comes forth, its voice will be weak and ineffectual. It will have lost the reason for its own existence. 

 What then should we learn from all this? 

 Thinking in terms of the operation of the man-nature relationship I mentioned earlier, I feel one should study the strained situation that exists in the encounter between man and the real world. We need to first of all clear the slate of the idea that one side defines the other, and then we must throughly direct, examine and clearify the structure of the workings of this relationship. This action is needed in all other fields as well, not just art, and without this step it will be impossible to climb over the wall that is obstructing our path. This effort is beginning right now on all fronts. 

Nobuo Sekine Profile 

 Born in Saitama, Japan in 1942. Graduated with M.F.A. in Painting from Tama Art University in 1968. In the same year, Sekine presented “Phase—Mother Earth” in Kobe, which marks the beginning of “Mono-ha” movement. A series of paintings “Phase of Nothingness” was chosen for the Venice Biennale in 1970 and a number of solo exhibitions were held subsequently in Europe. Sekine established Environmental Art Studios, a public art agency in 1973 to produce landscape art and monuments for public spaces, and phase paintings. Now living in Los Angeles, Sekine continues to make works. He has held solo exhibitions internationally since 1969, including a show at Kawagoe City Art Museum in 2003. Major group exhibitions in recent years are the Busan Biennale (Korea), 2002; “A Secret of History of Clay,” the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, 2004; “Mono-ha, Reconsidered”, the National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2005; “Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde”, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2012. Many of Sekine’s works are included in museum collections in many countries. 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram


bottom of page