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YOROZU Tetsugoro (1885-1927)
1915, 45.8 x 33.5cm, Oil on canvas
The Sunouchi Collection
Yorozu Tetsugoro was born in Iwate prefecture. Influenced by Fauvism and Cubism, he was one of the representative Japanese painters of the Taisho Period, but his work didn't really become known until after World War II. When Sunouchi Toru took over the operation of the Gendai Gallery, the first exhihition he staged was one of the work of Yorozu. This was one year before the first full-scale retrospective exhibition of Yorozu's work was held in 1962. Sunouchi, who had a collection of some 30 Yorozu works at one time and is said to have gotten Self-portrait from a junk dealer, was one of the people responsible for the rediscovery of Yorozu.
In Self-portrait we can see Yorozu's experience with Cubism. Sunouchi, however, did not limit his approach to Yorozu's work to its significance from the perspective of art history. He wrote, "Thinking about it now, the appeal of Yorozu Tetsugoro's painting for me was the deeply solitary nature of his images." Sunouchi shows that he has the eyes and the words to reach deep into the heart of the painter when he writes, "That which you see but others do not, that which you cannot hold in, but once said no one understands, the ecstasy and torment of a chosen few."