Shoji Matsumoto Untitled Sculpture
Shoji Matsumoto, 1965
This steel sculpture is located in the sculpture garden along the Northern wing at the Visual Arts Center. It was a gift from the artist.
In the summer of 1964, art professor Victor C. Smith (a.k.a. Joachim Smith) traveled to Japan on sabbatical leave. He found an art world torn between centuries of tradition and the pull of postwar modernism. The art establishment, which controlled the country’s museums, galleries, and civic art institutions, represented tradition. The modernists and their patrons, who found little support in the mainstream, grouped their strength in newly formed art alliances. They worked and exhibited their art apart from what they called “officialdom.” This movement, which had gained international attention, intrigued Smith. In the northern outskirts of Kyoto he visited a group who had constructed simple but ingenious shelters for themselves and their novel work on a lush strip of wooded land. He described the enclave as an “artist’s hamlet.” The artists viewed it as a refuge from official antagonism and indifference. Smith assembled an exhibition, “Seven Artists from Kyoto,” for the Fullerton campus, which ran from November through December of 1965 before moving to San Diego State in March 1966.
Shoji Matsumoto (1931–), one of the Kyoto seven, produced these five sculptures for that show. After many years the weathered shapes of the works suggest industrial totems and even a very un
Medium type: Steel
Date created: 1965
Dimensions: various sizes
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