Ia (yang) violet green orange = 3:2:1 (drawing for brush ink and paper) 2014 40 x 40 inches

View Images l Artist Catalogue l Biography | SF Chronicle Review

The gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition in the gallery by Japanese artist Susumu Takashima. Mr Takashima's approach to drawing is rooted in a desire to represent the purity of line. To that end, he gives all his works with the subtitle, “Drawing for Brushes, Ink and Paper” or “Drawing for Pencil Sharpener, Colored Pencils and Canvas” or “Drawing for Metal Point and Paper”.

As the subtitles suggest, he works with brushes, pencils and silver, gold and copper point purely for the sake of the drawings. He believes that, since there are music pieces with the title “music pieces for pianos or violins”, there can be drawings for brushes and paper.

Takashima produces the linear compositions for his works by drawing lines. He dips his brush in ink and draws one continuous stroke. Thus, ink is darker at the starting point and gradually fades its color towards the end. The process is repeated until these strokes fill the entire surface with density. On the pencil drawings, the line is sharp at the starting point and then, gradually gets broader as the pencil tip wears off.

Because of the subtle changes in line quality drawn free hand, the linear composition create an interesting wavy pattern in his finished work that suggests mountain ridges. Takashima has continued using metal point, a drawing technique that was used extensively in the Renaissance period. Metal point consists of a standard mechanical pencil but instead of “leads” a silver, gold or copper rod is used to “draw” onto the paper.

Once Takashima makes the decisions on the starting point and the initial direction of lines, he tries to obliterate the artist’s intentions as much as possible. He even determines color choices by the numbers that appear on a dice he throws.

In his work, the artist wishes to exclude his own thoughts and emotions as much as possible from the action of drawing in order to define the purity of lines drawn by pens and pencils.

Susumu Takashima received degrees in architecture and painting from Musashino Universtiy in Tokyo Japan. His work is in the collection of the Ome Municipal Museum of Art, Ome, Tokyo, Japan and the Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan as well as many private collections in the United States, Canada, Japan and the UK. This is his second solo exhibition in North America.

He lives with his wife in Tokyo, Japan. A color catalogue of this exhibition is available.


Wayne Hoy's photographs will be on view at the SFO Museum in Terminal 3 November 2014. www.waynehoyphoto.com

Listen to the 2012 conversation in the gallery with Susumu Takashima and Shoko Toma with translation by Beth Cary (mp3)

Follow us on Instagram

You can now find us on Facebook


We now offer validated parking in the SFMOMA parking garage at 147 Minna Street.