|Thesis | The World of Teruo Sato |Technique|4-2 The second thrid
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By filling up the "Window" using the picture medium, it is assured that the world inside the canvas belonged only to Sato, whereas for the object, the very opposite happened. Here, a thorough literalism is accomplished. In other words, Sato tried to approximate as far as possible to the actual existence.
   This is a liberal attitude that is contrary to the exclusive attitude of closing the "Window." With an opposite type of mentality, obviously the method used becomes completely different, too. Sato's technique devoted to the object becomes extremely delicate and analytical.
   Techniques used for the setting, such as rough drawing, emphasis on touch, and impressionist depiction of air, disappear completely. Instead, techniques such as miniaturist kind of brushing, restriction of touch and pursue for texture, were used.
   Basically, accumulation of Color Surface did not occur. Therefore "Glacis" was even less used in object. Also, since paint mixture was all calculated, it was almost always done on the palette. According to Sato, a paint mixture on the canvas was only performed "for convenience purposes, with brush techniques", when painting small Color Surfaces.
   The techniques used for the setting are varied, and at first sight, no consistent rules can be perceived. However, the techniques poured into the object depiction are unified, and a strict consistent style can be clearly seen at a glance. Here, the characteristic of Sato who tried to integrate contradictory and heterogeneous elements came out clearly.
   Sato's liberal attitude limited/concentrated to the expression of the object. Therefore, even if depictions were approximated to the reality, since his view limited to the object's inner part, the other world that he refused was never brought in by it. Also by this task, the object increasingly gained modeling and sense of weight: here, Sato's scheme of composition establishment of concentrating the distance effect of "perspective plan" on the object was definitely realized.

Stroll ; 2001

Sato's object is often an individual object, so as to meet the request of pure realism that only a single world be revealed. Therefore, this individual object becomes the "Primary Figure" which expresses the theme of the picture.
    When a "Primary Figure" is set, and if there is a need for a "Secondary Figure" to assist it, often an object similar to the "Primary Figure" is placed. If this is people, then a person who has a similar appearance, engages in the same profession and belongs to the same class is placed as the "Secondary Figure". ("Stroll" on the right is a good example).
   The reason why Sato chose tree as a symbol of person is that it can unify the variety of human image into one external appearance of a plant. In this way, the world does not run the risk of splitting even if various persons are drawn.
   In "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself" and in integrated pictures that are directly derived from it, the group of cadavers as well as the mountain of scraped cars and of skeletons form "Synthetic Figures"constituted by a number of similar objects. These compose the "Primary Figure."

The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself
The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself ; 1970
Wind ; 1970
The Inheritance
The Inheritance ; 1974
The Neo-Pyramid Times
The Neo-Pyramid Times ; 1989

Neuespektive ; 2001

Thus, in Sato's picture, "Primary Figure" and "Secondary Figure" are drawn with the same mentality and with the same technique. To create a difference here is very exceptional. The previously argued "Neuespektive" might represent one of these rare cases. In this picture, the girl in the front back as "Primary Figure" and the man on the left foreground as "Secondary Figure" differ in the way chroma is established and in the way their outlines are drawn. Such an uncommon thing happened because in this picture Sato had a special intention of experimenting with his original perspective.

The Detail of Maja the White
The Detail of Maja the White ; 1999

Therefore, all of Sato's methods of drawing the object are present in "Primary Figure." This method refers first to the dismemberment of figure. This dismemberment is done in a literalist way and here his subject is excluded. In a human body, organs and joints constituted by muscles and bones become the unit of dismemberment. (ex. The Detail of "Maja the White") Then, Color Surface is established according to this unit.
   This unit is basically constituted of three levels: highlight, shadow and half tone. The most detailed division would count five levels at most, with the half tone area broken down into light, shadow and middle area. While further subdivision is theoretically possible, it would even become unnatural for the reproduction of an object that is perceived by our sense.
   This difference in value is only an internal variation inside the same Color Surface. There, a continuous change of values is established and fusing Color Surface is made. As for the hue, since in pictures of nude the object has similar colors in its whole, most part of the object is covered by the dominant color. Therefore, seen from the perspective of hue, the Color Surface spreads to the whole object.
   This means that, from the point of view of hue, almost the whole object becomes close to a union of Color Surfaces. Put differently, it becomes like a synthetic figure. Then, here we find the coexistence of two conflicting figures: the dismembered figure split by values created by the different lights that shine on muscles and bones, and the synthetic figure created by hue.
    The technique that Sato used to solve this contradiction was the method of so-called "Soup Glazing." (This name is used traditionally in Japan. In terms of its content it can be defined as a special kind of "Glacis".) It is a general technique for preliminary drawing that creates a dominant color that serves as the base of a particular object, by dissolving paint into volatile oils such as Petroleum Thinner.
   First Sato calculated in his mind the general dominant color of the object that would become the "Primary Figure." Then apart from it, he drew beforehand with lines the Color Surfaces that were visible dismembered figures created by muscles and bones. Next, he arranged colors that served as references for the dominant color on the whole area of the object by the "Soup Glazing."
   Then, based on the dominant color references used in "Soup Glazing," he decided the hue of the actual painting. Reference and actual colors are basically similar, but in the skin of human body there is a slight difference, because he used Raw Sienna in the stage of "Soup Glazing" not to make it too pale, and in the actual painting he returned to the original color using Yellow Ochre.
   Then, Sato mixed gray scale to the actual paint colors in each dismembered figure, adjusting their values. (As mentioned previously, to make a gray scale Sato did not use black. He mixed Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Deep to create a subtle difference in the darkness.) Depending on the color of the skin, he added another color to the actual paint colors creating a continuous change of hue.
   Since these were pure technical colors to add changes, Sato's world-view did not enter and there was no special limitation or bias on the hues added here. The previously mentioned red (Cadmium Red Pale, Crimson Lake) and blue colors (Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Deep, Indigo) which are allocated to the civilization were used, too. Green (Cadmium Green Pale, Viridian) which is the dominant color of the sea was certainly applied, too.
   The color in "Soup Glazing" served as a reference for the dominant color of the whole object, fused each Color Surface that composed a dismembered figure, and became the guide that gave uniformity to the whole object. Then, based on this, the hues and the values of the actual painting colors underwent continuous changes, making fusing Color Surfaces and expressing the curvatures of the object's surface. By this, the modeling of the object could be expressed accurately.
   On the other hand, Color Surfaces were segmented by the value in every dismembered figure, and thus the variety of the details of the object was expressed. This variety, in turn, creates the texture of the object. (Sato did not know the concept of Color Surface, but he repeatedly emphasized that on a dessin "it is important to grasp the object by the surfaces and not by the lines." He intuitively realized the significance of a Color Surface. Also, when putting color on the object, he used the word "to see well part by parts". This word "parts" caught almost the same meaning as Color Surface.)
   Thus, the value changed on the divided Color Surface created by the physical attribute of the object, and it reversely enabled the pictorial expression of the physical nature of the object. But, in an object, since this value difference often constituted a continuous change, the condition was made for the establishment of a fusing Color Surface. Then, since the dominant similar colors of the object brought about a continuous change in hue, a fusing Color Surface was realized.
   As a result, the whole object became a fusing Color Surface with a series of curved surfaces. In this situation, the divided Color Surface created by the physical attribute was connected and consequently the value difference that was created in each Color Surface went through "Figurization". (From an opposite perspective, the fusing Color Surface went through "Groundization".) Then, through this "Figurization," the areas of highlight and shadow stood out, further perfecting the expression of texture in the object.
   Therefore, in Sato's case, there was no need to add such parts last as highlight and shadow, as was usually done in the division of Color Surface. (But he sometimes made use of this usual way, too.) In fact, in case of drawing woman in the nude image in tableau, Sato began to paint a part of breast in the brightest condition. In the process of drawing the dismembered figures of the object one by one according to a determined procedure, uniformity and variety of the object were automatically realized. (Since the main object that becomes the "Primary Figure" has an approximately equal distance from the viewer and since it also constitutes the theme, chroma becomes uniform so that the attention is turned to its whole. Hence, there is no specific need to consider the continuous change of chroma.) Also, Sato's picture was immune to the traditional method transmitted from generation to generation in Western countries that says that "bright part should be painted heavily and dark part lightly."
   Metaphorically speaking, the dominant color determined in "Soup Glazing" was equivalent to a tree trunk, which changed its hue subtly from area to area. Then from there it was ramified by the change of value. By drawing systematically this entire color tree, it was possible to reproduce literally an object.
    In Sato's case, the color of the actual painting was decided in a one-time procedure, and he did not make adjustments by overlaying the paints again and again. These colors were all calculated in his mind and were created only on the palette. When actually putting the calculated color on the canvas, it rarely happened that it turned out to be different from the initially intended color. Here we can see the characteristic of Sato's picture technique that is inconceivable to ordinary painters.
   But, when drawing a human body by tableau, in order to "make an accurate expression," to "confine the integrated time," and to "make the image eternal as Mona-Lisa," (borrowing the words of Sato) a final coating was performed after the actual painting. Sato called the tableau of human body picture "a long novel" and the etude "an essay," but in any case, to perform an actual painting twice was something special. However even in such cases, there did not have to be too many parts in which Color Surfaces accumulate. It should be limited to reinforcing the first painting.
   We can see a big difference from Sato if we see that many painters can achieve their desired colors only after overlaying paints as much as four times. But such a thing was a trivial matter for Sato in the light of his genius. (In case of a sea picture, Sato said that the actual painting concluded in one time, because it was drawn based on photograph, and he had a material that did not move.)
   All colors of the "Soup Glazing" were pure preparations for the actual painting, where they vanished. Put differently, they were like lines that disappeared in a complete work. On the other hand, as previously mentioned, the priming that made the setting penetrate was something that Sato firmly refused. However, even he considered the importance of the "Soup Glazing" as a preliminary coloring that generated the unity of an object. But even then, there is no special meaning in it since it is no more than a pure reference after all.
   Thus, either for the setting or for the object, preliminary painting of any kind was ultimately unnecessary for Sato; in practice, everything was decided by a one-time act of actual painting.
   It meant that for Sato, as previously argued, in drawing an object, accumulation of Color Surface was non-existent even counting the preliminary drawing. Therefore, obviously, such thing as transparency of the paints was neither important attribute for Sato. Also, since all the colors were calculated beforehand, he never mixed colors on the canvas, which would create a contingent element. Sato said that even if it was in the setting, when two colors widely met each other on the drawing surface, he made their middle color on the palette. Even in "The Method of Sealing Window", which was originally a free method, colors were always steadily calculated.
   He neither used flat brushes. It was until his 20 years old that he was using it. After that, he had been using only round brushes made of pig hair of sizes 0 to 20. This shows his concentration on the establishment of detailed Color Surfaces. (But, in the "Soup Glazing," he used sable brushes of sizes 0 to 6.)
    In short, either with the division or the combination of Color Surfaces, Sato did everything as an establishment of new Color Surfaces. (The division of Color Surface by Sato became the one on appearance that we showed previously.) Therefore, in principle, the Matière in the object becomes homogeneous with only a one-time drawing. In other words, it is a constructive improvisation. Here, too, we can have a glimpse of the tremendous genius of Sato in integrating heterogeneous elements.
   This might be called a photographic Matière. As described in the work part, the rival of a representational painting is the photograph. That is why Sato introduced the photographic Matière into the depiction of the object. Also, when he drew picture of the tree or the sea, he made a sketch based on the scenery taken in the photograph and began to paint on it.
    However, this photographic Matière, while being ideal for a literal picture, also draws into a battle with photograph. Here, Sato brought up the pictorial Matière produced by the previously-mentioned "Method of Sealing Window" in the setting. By combining it with the photographic Matière that is used for the object, he expressed the originality of his picture as a whole. By this, it became also possible to draw the "emotion of the soul" that Sato talked about. The depiction of the object in Sato's picture is an example for representational painters, and the depiction of the setting is his self-assertion as a painter.
   Sato himself was not clearly conscious of this distinction. He said, "What exists is only the brush feeling that realizes the motion of my spirit." Similar to the case of establishment of composition, the fact that he could realize his constitutive intention even unconsciously, as shown above, is in itself a sufficient proof of his genius.

                                                  \ 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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