Susumu Takashima’s approach to drawing is rooted in a desire to represent the purity of line. He selects a starting point on the paper and draws a repeated continuous line freehand until a shape is formed. Because of the subtle changes in line quality, the linear composition creates an intricate stratified pattern in his finished work that suggests mountain ridges.
“Tools and materials are just a means for expression essentially; however, each shape in my works is to express the structure of the tools and materials themselves. I would rather play the tools and materials — like a musician playing an instrument — than represent something with them.”
As pencil tips dull or brush ink diminishes, the lines grow thicker or duller, as if they were the crescendo and decrescendo of a musical piece. As if creating a 12tone étude, the artist selects colors by a roll of dice, picks a starting point, and draws fine, continued lines, repeated over and over until a larger pattern forms and the page is filled. With subtitles like “Drawing for Brushes, Ink, and Paper” and “Drawing for Pencil Sharpeners, Colored Pencils, and Canvas” Mr. Takashima continues his metaphor of artwork as musical composition.
The works created by Mr. Takashima are simple and geometric when viewed at a distance, reflecting a clean, organized Japanese aesthetic, but when viewed closely, they astound in their complexity and organic nature and the quiet grace and talent of the artist is revealed.
SUSUMU TAKASHIMA: Continuity: New Drawings
Exhibition Dates: Through June 29, 2019
Chandler Fine Art & Framing
145 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94105