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|Thesis | The World of Teruo Sato |Technique|3-2-‡B Hue To Broad Band Index
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  Hue

                                                                                     

   Hue is a sophisticated sense that identifies the frequency of light. A painter will emphasize hue setting in a picture when he/she wishes to project strongly his/her own subject: this is expressionist method.
   However, Sato rigorously followed literalist method, which was the opposite of it. Therefore, he did not make much of hue setting in a picture. Instead, he emphasized the importance of a correct dessin of an object.
   It was his motto to repeat a dessin many times to the point where "the fingers start bleeding". He always said that "anyone can draw a picture to a certain degree by putting color on a dessin". Reading these words from the opposite, this shows his disregard for hue.
   As can be seen in the popular conception of "Firenze's line versus Venis' color", or "Poussin's(1593/94-1665 French painter) line versus Rubens' (1577-1640 Painter of Flanders) color", literalism and expressionism have been opposing to each other since old times back in the history of picture. Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867 French painter), a classical literal painter situated in the opposite direction of Sato, also emphasized the importance of dessin, in the same way as Sato did. (Edger Degas {1834-1917 French painter} admired Ingres, and Sato, in turn, valued Degas' dessin, and was always making it his research object.)
   Hue, too, has its universal sense effect. For example, cold colors are heavy and warm colors are light, or cold colors make the screen recede while warm colors have an opposite effect of drawing it forward. There are also illusionary effects when more than one color is arranged next to each other, such as "contrast effect", in which the complementary color of the setting penetrates into the object, and "assimilation effect", in which the color in stripe penetrates around.
   These are psychological effects. This fits perfectly for expressionism. Also, they are all technical effects. Therefore, it does not relate directly with world-view as in value setting. It weakens the language penetration and symbol-awakening effects. Hence, for a painter oriented toward abstraction pictures or absolute pictures, hue setting becomes a very important task.
   Sato liked absolute pictures because of his picture-for-picture principles. But at the same time, he was a representational painter, and being as such, he could not ignore human being and nature, being then pressed to respond to programme picture. Sato, when drawing "The Sleeping People at the Underground Passage", was pointed out by one of his colleagues that it was a literature-oriented picture.
 

   Then, as we showed in the work part, the state he reached was that of anti-literature; and through picture he confronted linguistic art. The result is "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself" and a series of integrated pictures that belong to its genealogy. Therefore, he was never strongly inclined to hue setting, like absolute painters.
   Sato's hue setting is not based on the picture's psychological effect. Rather, it shows his personal world-view. The first color that he chose as the base of his whole picture was yellow. Before accomplishing his big leap to "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself", he drew several works as its pre-steps: "Windy Day", "Drought in Summer", "On Windy Day", and others. He called these works "The Yellow Series" himself.


   This is the color of a real existing sun, and also the base color of the skin of human body, which Sato placed the most importance to. In a picture, most part of it is reflections of sunlight. And for Sato, yellow was the basic color of the skin of the models whom he worked with, being he an Asian. For these reasons, he chose yellow as his own base color. His hue choice was made based on his world-view as a painter.
   When drawing a picture, Sato used paints of 17 colors that are put on the palette.   (Listing these colors in alphabetical order, we have: Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Green Pale, Cadmium Red Pale, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Orange, Cobalt Blue, Crimson Lake, Indigo, Light Red, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Silver White, Ultramarine Deep, Viridian, and Yellow Ochre).

    Among these, the ones that belong to the category of yellow are: Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Orange, and Yellow Ochre. If we add the ones that belong to the brown category, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna, the number of colors that are similar to yellow becomes six.
   If we include Raw Umber and Burnt Umber which are dark brown, this number turns into eight, reaching almost half of the paints he uses. As for blue, red and green, there are at most three kinds of colors that belong to each category. From the composition of paint colors that are put on his palette, the importance of yellow for Sato is obvious.
   Sato chose yellow as the base color of nature. The brown of the earth was made by adding red to it, and if he wanted to make it heavier he added Burnt Umber. (Burnt Umber was the paint Sato frequently used when making pure colors heavier). The color of the sea surface is green, and is made by mixing yellow, which is the base color of the nature, and blue. But when he used palette to create green, he did not use this mixture, and instead he resorted to Viridian. By adding Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue to it, he made Viridian, which is originally a heavy green, look even heavier. (In addition to this, Sato used Cadmium Green Pale, but this is a variation of Viridian.)
   If we see the color arrangement on the color wheel, we can see that Sato allocated to earth the color system that departs from yellow towards red, and to sea the system that departs from yellow towards blue. These two color systems are clearly divided from each other by the yellow. This reflects Sato's world-view that earth, as a human world, never unites with sea, the nature world. Thus, we can clearly see that Sato mixed colors based on his world-view.
 

  Yellow is the base color of nature, but as pure color, it was used only around human body, which is a part of nature. (See "Parody of Clothed Maja") Thus, in Sato's work, it never happened that a field of rape blossom or yellow leaves of gingko were drawn as land scenery. (In "Snow Storm and Time" and "Wind, Snow and Time", the yellow color of leaves around the main tree has a mere supporting role, and besides, it is far from being a pure color.)
 

  Whether it was land or sea, their colors never approached red or blue of pure color. If it did, Sato immediately added Burnt Umber and value was dropped at a stroke. Red ground or cerulean sea was hardly drawn in Sato's picture. These colors were expelled from the world of nature.

   As mentioned earlier, in an opened picture, darkness created by Burnt Umber is balanced with snow on the ground or whitecaps on the sea. In an integrated picture, this is done by a strong sunlight.

  On the right side is "Sein und Zeit", a work in his early days when he began to work on "The Yellow Series". In this picture, red close to a pure red is used in the setting that constitutes a natural space. (To add, in this picture, even sun is drawn in the front part.) But after completing "The Yellow Series", this kind of color use was never done again. Also, it seems that the picture of sea that he drew in his early stages, of the offing of Hayama in Kangawa Prefecture, had a color close to pure blue, but he immediately quitted drawing a sea this way.
   Red and blue were not considered colors of the natural world, not even their similar colors. Therefore, such natural elements as cherry trees, autumnal colored leaves or gentians were never drawn as natural sceneries. Not only that, even purple which is the mixture of red and blue was expelled from the world of nature.
   Also, in Sato's world-view, land and sea were worlds completely separated from each other. Thus never a green, which was the color of sea, was used for land. Hence, evergreens and trees blooming with young leaves were never drawn as sceneries of land. The trees Sato drew were all withered or naked trees without leaves. For the same reason, a bitter orange was never used for sea. Hence such things as coral reefs were equally never drawn.
   In this way, for Sato's landscape, only those in accordance with his nature-view and his picture style were chosen, and hue was set to materialize them.

   We shall summarize our discussion. As for the three primary colors of yellow, red and blue, for Sato, red and blue and their similar colors are not colors of the world of nature. The color of earth is the mixture of yellow and red with dropped value; the color of sea is the mixture of yellow and blue with equally dropped value; and the color of a naked body as part of the world of nature is a color similar to yellow. The colors for land, sea and naked body are completely apart from each other in terms of pure color. (However, in an integrated picture in which his inside was drawn, land was not of a real existence, hence colors that resembled an Asiatic skin color might be used. An example of this is "The War Theory".)
   In Sato's picture, if heavy mixed color with yellow base is the color of the natural world, then red, blue and purple which is the mixture of these two are the colors of civilization. In other words, these colors are used only for products of civilization. Since Sato's picture philosophy is that of non-civilization, even if these colors are used, it restricts to an extremely limited range: they are used in clothing, cloth and accessories of a portrait.
   As an unusual case, we have pictures of cut flowers. They are products of nature, but since they are cut off and made almost undistinguishable with artificial flowers and used only to decorate a nude woman, it can be thought of as a kind of jewel. (No Title 10) Therefore, we can include them in products of civilization. (But since cut flowers are originally a product of nature, yellow may be used as well. Also, there is a picture of cut flowers that Sato drew for sales purposes, which is indeed an unusual practice of him. Here, both natural and civilization colors are used).

 
   The use of red and blue also restricts to serving as an accent. But because they are used in a restrictive way, his sense of balance works and they often appear in very vivid pure colors.
   If we see in detail the arrangement of civilization colors in Sato's work, we see that red is the color for woman and blue for man. In this way, his color allocation was clearly defined according to the gender of the object. The exceptions are "Don Quixote" and the pictures of horse race ("Going to Battle under the Rainbow" and "Young Steeds Gallop 1"). Here, a variety of colors are used regardless of gender, but this was so because they were projections of Sato himself. Since he was an existence equivalent to God in his pictures, he could be glorified with any kind of colors.

   As for the red that is allocated to woman, a variety of similar colors are used. Sato probably decided about value and chroma based on the impression he received from the model. There are a variety of combinations of red, such as gentle pink, heavier red and so on. (No Title 11-15)

   But compared to it, the blue allocated to man is poorer in its variety. As we can see in "Yanase, the Bicycle Seller", "Okano, the Tenpura Cook", "Autumn" and others, these are all heavy blue. This heavy blue was made by a mixture of Cobalt Blue and Viridian. However, in the picture of a tree which was a self-projection of Sato, a very bright blue was arranged for the sky as the setting. This bright blue was composed only by "Cobalt Blue". ("Giant in the Forest").

   It can be said that this color allocation is also an expression of his paternalistic love, which was argued in the person part. Sato distinguished the role of man and woman quite openly in his picture world.
   As seen above, Sato's hue setting was all decided by his world-view and picture style, that were made concrete in his personal nature-view, civilization-view, men-view and women-view. He was hardly conscious of the psychological effect of hue. Hence Sato's hue setting was only his own as an artist, and could not be imitated by anyone else.

 




\ 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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