Collection

Pregnant Woman

KAWARA, On

1954

Information

Title
Pregnant Woman
Artist
KAWARA, On View artist Information
Year
1954
Collection
Gift of the artist
Medium
oil on canvas
Size
140.0×134.5

Commentary

Dishes, bottles, arms, and heads float through the air in a bathroom. The claustrophobic space in which all directions are ambiguous creates a sense of unease. The problem lies in the lines demarcating the tiles. We derive stability and comfort in vertical and horizontal lines based on the sense of balance that maintains our bodies’ equilibrium. Here, however, the verticals and horizontals the tiles are diagonally shifted in relation to the lines of the picture’s frame. The tip of the implement held by the pregnant woman in the center is particularly bright, and its spherical bulb seems to be the center around which the pictorial space begins to revolve, as if poised to scatter people and things to the four winds. Such is the formal ingenuity underlying the anxiety provoked by this work, said to express the mental condition of postwar Japanese society.

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