Tanaka, Atsuko, Eiblmayr, Silvia and Gfader, Verina (2011) Hommage à Atsuko Tanaka. In: Hommage à Atsuko Tanaka talk and discussion, Thursday 14 April 2011, E:ventGallery, 96 Teesdale Street, London E2 6PU.

“What interested me most during the production [of Electric Dress] was an unusual beauty created by the light bulbs arranged on the dresses when the blinking device was set in rotation, powered by a motor. It was a beauty that could not be made by human hands.” Atsuko Tanaka, 1957

Hommage à Atsuko Tanaka is a talk by art historian and independent curator Silvia Eiblmayr (Vienna) on the work of the seminal Japanese artist Atsuko Tanaka (1932–2005). The presentation with discussion traces Tanaka’s personality and life as one of the most influential artists of the avant-garde group Gutai Art Association, commonly known as “Gutai” (which means concrete). Hommage particularly focuses on the subject of a conceptual, space related, performative notion of painting based on the inclusion of everyday materials, and further traces the multi-facetted gaze, clothing and the stage, embedded in the artist’s work.

In 2002 Eiblmayr organised Atsuko Tanaka, Works from the Gutai-Period at Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck, the first solo exhibition of the artist in a public institution outside Japan. On this occasion Eiblmayr travelled to Japan to meet Tanaka in her studio in the province of Nara. The gathered material — photographs and oral histories — form one part of the talk illuminating the continuing significance and scale of the artist’s work, and by doing so, suggesting Tanaka as a central, yet in the Western context marginally received figure. References to the publication ‘Atsuko Tanaka’ (2002) with essays by Eiblmayr and Mizuho Kato accompany these excursions.

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