McCaffrey Fine Art is happy to present an exhibition of paintings created between 1958 and 2004 by Sadamasa Motonaga (1922–2011). Remarkably, over five decades have passed since Motonaga’s last solo exhibition in New York at Martha Jackson Gallery in 1961. This exhibition serves to reintroduce Motonaga’s work in anticipation of several museum initiatives in the coming 18 months.
Motonaga was a member of the legendary Gutai Art Association (1954–72), which became famous for their groundbreaking performance works and innovations in painting, sculpture, and installation art.
He emerged at a time when a post-atomic surrealist existentialism was the forefront of artistic development in Japan. However, Motonaga chose a different path and turned his back on the destruction wrought by the war in order to create paintings, sculptures, and performances that were fresh, jubilant, and playful. In 1954, he began employing a vocabulary of embryonic shapes, flying objects, and cartoonlike forms modeled in heavy oil paint that revealed his interest in children’s art, manga, and popular culture, and collapsed distinctions between high and low art.