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|Thesis|The World of Teruo Sato |Person|2-4 Non Self-portrait To Broad Band Index
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(4) Non-self-portrait works

   For Sato, the most important theme was himself. Therefore, the paintings which were self-projected were drawn in the tableau form of "an opened picture". The most important genre among his non-self-portrait paintings was women in the nude. Women in the nude images were the place where he spouted his living instincts.
   Since 1990s, Sato's work was starting to concentrate on women in the nude and the sea. Since, for Sato, the sea was the extreme point of death, in order to keep a balance, he had to draw in the same piece women in the nude which was the center of life.
   Taking over
"The Sleeping People at the Underground Passage", the paintings of women in the nude are showing the most different postures in the portraits. The laying-down pose that a body is stretched horizontally is usually a pose that suggests death. However, since women in the nude belong to the internal world in Sato's mind the source of energy of life comes from, the shadow of death does not enter even when the horizontal pose is drawn.

 When they leave Sato's atelier even one step, the shadow of death starts to follow immediately. For example, even the sleeping figure of his wife who is very close to Sato as seen in the two pieces of "Falling Ill" series is carrying death when leaving Sato's house. (These are painted after his wife was sent to a hospital.)
   It seems that "Impression" which is one of four elements of Sato's art is in the art-for-art principle. The other three elements are stated as follows: "Amusement" shows him putting his heart and soul to the common world, "Truth" shows the pure realism, and finally "Love" implies his paternal kindness.
   Since the objects in
"The Sleeping People at the Underground Passage" existed at the edge of life, most of them were drawn in a sleeping posture. In other words, there was not even one person standing at the underground passage in Ueno, and you will never see anyone lying down in Sato's neighborhood. In Sato's world of paintings, death only exists outside. Therefore, there are people filled with vitality around his house. At the end, at the seashore which is the farthest place from his house no one will be seen.
   Only woman in the nude images are put in his atelier. Therefore the sleeping pose of these women in the nude do not mean death but mean the sense of relaxation in the activity.

The standing pose means the excitement in the activity. The sitting pose is in between the sleeping pose and standing pose. The tendency of living is the strongest in the standing pose. Similar examples can be seen in "The Youth" and the woman in the nude image at page 40 (No Title 2) in the collection of his paintings.
   For Sato the objects that were drawn in the non-self-portrait were only an outside existence and he did not sympathize with them. Also a shadow of death could not be seen around Sato. Therefore, even when a personal acquaintance of Sato passed away, he or she did not become a theme for his painting. For this reason, when encountering his wife's death, the style of his painting did not change at all.
    Sato received a great personal impact on his life when his wife hopelessly became ill. However, on the other hand, Sato's calm eyes as a painter worked and tried to paint death of one human being as a solemn fact. At this time, while suffering from the fact that he had to stand in between being a husband and a professional painter, Sato completed a piece called
"Falling Ill ". The same attitude could be seen when Sato was working on "The Sleeping People at the Underground Passage".
    When painting on these works, Sato remembered that Claude Monet (1840-1926 French painter) was drawing the death of his wife as well. Then, he said that he admired deep inside his heart that Monet did not change his style as an impressionist when he was painting the shocking fact that his wife was dying. Whatever situation Sato faced, he never lost a sight of himself as a painter.
    This was proved on the occasion of his own death. He even tried to put his fatal disease out of his life. To be exact, he refused to accept the fact that his sickness was never going to get better. In keeping with his belief that he was center of life, he overcame the death of his body.
    These two pastel works were drawn about three months prior to Sato's death. However, without considering the fact of his death these works still incorporate Sato's unique style.



 ― Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama ―                                                     
  ― Original translation is rewritten by Tomoko Daijo McLean

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


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