|Thesis | The World of Teruo Sato |Technique|2-4-@Basic Style

(4)  The Use of Linear Perspective in Sato's Picture


@@Basic Style

   Sato, who combined "perspective plan" with "projection plan", carried out a peculiar way of weakening the effects of linear perspective. If he was to use only aerial perspective, it would be possible to draw a natural gperspective planh but then it becomes difficult to highlight "The Wall of Pamirs". Thus, Sato could not abandon completely the use of linear perspective. On the other hand, if to use only natural perspective, it would be difficult to draw indoor pictures, which was an important style of his work.
   In Sato's picture, never a ray is drawn when the horizon line is made clear. When these two are drawn, the effect of linear perspective reaches at its maximum and the composition inclines toward "perspective plan". Horizon line carries a very important meaning in Sato's picture and hence it is obligatory to draw it. Thus, basically, the other element that strengthens the feature of linear perspective, that is the ray, must not be drawn. We will call this the "Method of Restrictive Ray" in Sato's picture.
   In pictures of places where background is covered with a thick "Wall of Pamirs" and where there is no horizon, as inside the atelier or in the middle of the town, one may well draw many rays. But in Sato's work, even in such cases, rays are restricted to a moderate expression, such as in the floor joints: this is where we can clearly see the effects of the "Method of Restrictive Ray".
   With the "Method of Restrictive Ray", Sato's work on portrait is drawn only in places such as inside the small atelier or under the eaves of his neighborhood houses. Streets are not desirable because roads and buildings produce many rays. In the person part, we argued that this fact of portraying only persons in locations close to him, reflects his consciousness that only he holds the life energy. However, from a compositional perspective, we see that such scenes were chosen in order to thoroughly avoid the rays.

Neuespektive ; 2001

   Let's see the work on the right, "Neuespektive". In this picture, the girl, who is the main object, has in her back "The Wall of Pamirs" made of concrete. If we see only this, we can say that this is a typical composition of Sato. However, long rays of one-point perspective type stretch from the foreground to where the girl is, in the road. Such a case in which rays are clearly drawn is extremely rare in Sato's work. In this work, he intended to build a new perspective; he did not use his sense-oriented composition building that he usually resorted to.
   For Sato, such a form of ray usage represented an excessive inclination to "perspective plan". Thus he mitigated it in a variety of ways. What he did consciously is to insert a man in the left part of the foreground. By introducing a new personality, the viewer's attention is drawn back to the foreground and depth is disregarded.
   Because this man is a subordinate existence, he is unfocused and blurred compared to the girl. Such a case in which two personalities play a tug-of-war in a scene is extremely rare in Sato's pure realist work.
   Sato's intention was to make the man in the frontal part carry a sense of weight, so that perspective effect was created. He named this "massive perspective" or "psychological perspective" himself. In addition to that, the man, by being blurred in his whole, is given the character of setting too, there being hence, a use of the " Method of Dual-natured Foreground".
   Also in this work, he explored the way in which one eye sees things. As a result, he said, the man in front was blurred. As shown in the work part, Sato considered canvas strictly as a human's eye, and here he reached at a point where he tried to convert the viewpoint into one. In other words, he was trying to let pure realism penetrate even inside the painter's eyes. Sato always aimed at the extreme in everything.
   We need to observe also the vertical lines on the wall in both sides of the girl. These vertical lines are drawn steadfastly on the concrete. Such a thing is exceptional for Sato who so far had been placing only decadent things in the vertical. This was done in order to mitigate the effect of linear perspective.
   Also, the man in frontal part is moving from left to right of the screen, introducing a horizontal direction. This horizontal effect is also used to mitigate the effect of linear perspective. Moreover, similarly, horizontal lines are clearly drawn on "The Wall of Pamirs" behind the girl, and together with the movement of the man, mitigate linear perspective. This horizontality represents the "Method of Suggestive Background".
   Also, Sato often moved the position of vanishing point. No matter if it is one-point or two-point perspective, the vanishing point being in the canvas, depth effect is strong even if rays are not drawn. But if the vanishing point is placed outside the canvas, in a distant spot on either left or right, its effect of creating depth is weakened.
   In this situation, Sato could allow himself to draw rays clearly. We can see in "The Youth" and "Autumn" its concrete instances. Here, rays that extend to the vanishing point are present in the shelves and stairs. But since the location of vanishing point is biased to the sides, beyond the edge of the picture, the rays are close to horizontal. In this way, rays reinforce horizontality, all the better mitigating the effects of "perspective plan".

The Youth
The Youth ; 1980
Autumn ; 2001

  As a case in which the composition building of aforementioned "Neuespektive" is combined with that of "The Youth" or "Autumn", we present "Maja the White". In this picture, the floor joints in the foreground are clearly depicted in the form of ray of one-point perspective type. The horizon line being fairly elevated, we can see that the vanishing point is established in the upper part beyond the canvas.

Maja the White
Maja the White ; 1999

   The subjective compositional position tells the viewer to look down on the object. By this, the effect of perspective that is created by rays is mitigated. Moreover, with model's body line together with black sofa emphasizing horizontality, and with the clear presence of vertical line in the wall behind, the mitigation effect is further strengthened. These are Sato's method of mitigating the effects of "perspective plan".


                                     \ Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama@\                                                         \ Original translation is rewritten by Chigusa Tanzawa \

This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's permission.

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