Masanobu first met Gutai group leader Jiro Yoshihara in 1948 or 1949, when he began attending a public art class being offered by Yoshihara in Kobe. In 1951, under Yoshihara's tutelage, Masanobu painted Lakeside (1951), an important early landscape work where he began exploring abstraction, and for the first time used the pale yellow that would permeate his work throughout his career. Here, the yellow is applied in layers to define a circle, creating a luminosity in movement that reads perhaps as a moon or a sun reflected in water. This quality of shimmering light, of life-imbued paint that exceeds its simplicity of form, is central to Masanobu's work, and is the key to understanding the artist's committed approach to Gutai's earliest core principles.
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