Work D.p.244, 1974
Masaaki Yamada was a prolific postwar artist embracing a meticulously philosophical approach to painting. Profoundly affected by the war, his works are categorized into three distinct periods that track the adoption of abstraction as a process from destruction to totality. His first series "Still life" observes the gradual destruction of still life objects into basic forms, which become stripes and crosses in the following series "Work." His paintings culminate in the series "Color," absolute planes of single hues, aggregating to approximately 5000 works created in his lifetime. His work is accompanied by thorough production notes that record his experiences and thought processes in the pursuit of precision.
Yamada was born in 1929 in Tokyo, Japan, and passed away in 2010. Solo exhibitions of his work were held in Tokyo from 1969 to 1997, and his work was exhibited in various museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Major retrospectives of his work were held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto in 2016. His work is collected in important public institutions in Japan including the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, as well as the Yokohama Museum of Art.