Toshihiko Ito, born at Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture in 1928, at first studied the japanese traditional style painting, but soon his concern became occupied by the more contemporary expression. His early principal works from the end of the 1950s (cat.nos.1-11), show the influence of the international tendency called ‘Informel’. In these paintings the colours are almost monochrome, the forms are collapsed and the somber emotional tone is dominant. From the series ‘Shroud’(cat.nos.4-7), he began using putty as material, and by this the small dots were accumlated.
But through the series ‘Custom’of the middle of the 60s (cat.nos.12-15), and in the‘Oxidization / sound’series of the end of the 60s(cat. nos.16-18), the forms and the picture surface became gradually regulated, and at the same time in the artist's mind was conceived a doubt toward the hitherto way of execution.
In order to conquer this doubt, he started the series ‘Condition’in the middle of the 70s (cat.nos.20-24), which was corresponding to the tendency of the Conceptual Art. Here for example, on a canvas, each day he painted the same motif, which necessarily showed the subtle differences and by that made appear the conditions of perception.
This operation of repetition and the concept on ‘Condition’brought forth a chain of his reliefs called ‘Viewpoint’(cat.nos.25-36). In these reliefs the main themes was the difference of the thickness between the plane and the three-dimensional object, the difference ocured by the angles to view. And because the surfaces completely painted white, there also appeared the sense of serene space.
The series‘Sky in the box’(cat.nos.37-51) was born as the continuation of those reliefs, and is executed up to the present. In these works the airplanes or airships are enclosed in the folding boxes. Here also is continuing the concept of ‘Viewponit’, but more than that the free play of the images draws attention .
This exhibition tries to show the total aspect of Ito's work. In realizing this exhibition we have received generous cooperation from the museums and various people including Mr.Toshihiko Ito to display their valuable works. We would like to express our deep gratitude for them.
Mie Prefectural Art Museum
Cultural Foundation of Okada