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MIGISHI Kotaro (1903-1934)
1933, 91.0 x 116.5cm, Oil on canvas
Migishi Kotaro was born in Hokkaido. He participated largely in exhibitions of the Shunyo-Kai and the Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyokai, painting in a variety of styles before his death at the age of 31. In the year this work was painted Migishi did two other works on the theme of orchestra. In each of these a cloud of white is painted over a field of black and the players depicted by means of line, but with a slightly different approach in each work. In this version of Orchestra the colors yellow and brown are added over the thick white surface and the musicians are portrayed by lines scratched in the half-dry paint as well as by lines of black paint.
It is said that Migishi sometimes had children scratch in half-dry paint with nails or metal rods. In this work we see the same type of lively use of line that does not confine itself to traditional methods of drawing. Furthermore, he employs a style in which neither the use of line nor the colors of his palette and the color surface dominates the other, leaving both to coexist and stand as distinct entities. This improvisational relationship between line and the pictorial space can surely be seen as an apt analogy to the music inherent in the subject.