Seiko Kanno

Born: Sendai-city, Miyagi, 1933. Died: 1988
Period of Membership in GUTAI: 1968-1972

Seiko Kanno’s work is multi-disciplinary. In addition to painting, which she began in junior high school, her areas of interest span a wide variety of disciplines, from poetry to music, religion, philosophy, mathematics, and physics. Her poetry, in particular, is as important as her paintings, and for a time Kanno participated in a study group organized by the poet Seiichi Niikuni, where she pursued her own “concrete poetry” (“gutai-shi”) .

She first came into contact with Gutai in 1964, when she moved to Kobe after getting married. “Unable to contain [herself] any longer”, she went to have Jiro Yoshihara look at her paintings. Her grid-like canvases, created using a ruling pen in order to overcome her own ”informel”,  give a rhythmic impression due to the gaps and overlaps that occur according to the rules. Kanno’s interest in the ”structure” itself that unifies the canvas is characteristic of her paintings.