Kanazawa Noh Museum Window, 3rd Floor (b)

ArtistPeter MCDONALD
Material/ Techniqueacrylic gouache on paper
Size/ DurationH25.4×W25.5cm
Copyright Notice© Peter MCDONALD
Year of acquisition/ donation2012
DescriptionBorn in Tokyo, Japan in 1973. Lives and works in London, UK.

McDonald, who also produced paintings while in the sculpture department at art university, captures the act of painting as performance. In 2002, while painting a series of works based on performers on stage, a character with a large head appeared. Thereafter, with the image of this character at the core of his visual language, he expresses, with abbreviated iconography and rich colors, everyday situations. These have included: concerts, airports, a bakery, hair salons, classrooms, museums and cafés among many others. He has also referenced the creativity of historical painters such as Henri MATISSE and Lucio FONTANA. The illusion of transparency created by a layering of color upon color and clarity of composition highlight the openness of the work, the surface of which, cloaked in vivid colors, takes on a sense of floating. The figurative and the abstract merge, and the whimsical two – dimensional world that emerges from the logical illustrations evokes various memories or stories. Peter McDonald has a Japanese mother and a British father, and the richly colored world of his artistic practice, with “painting” as a unique means of communication, has the power to make us acknowledge again that for human beings ‘drawing’ is a fundamental language of expression.

All of the works came about as a result of the exhibition “Peter McDonald: Visitor,” which was held at the museum in 2011. "Takasago Scroll" takes as its theme the Noh play "Takasago". It was the first attempt by McDonald to create a work based on an already existing story, and is told according to the artist’s own interpretation of the plot of Takasago and using his own artistic language, giving rise to a stand-alone tale that does not rely on the original as its source. As well, an animated version of this work was produced by a core member of the exhibition project, and was presented as part of a performance featuring a dancer and bringing together the visual arts, music and body expression. This series of 21 drawings arose from a project in which McDonald created drawings at the exhibition venue taking as their subject matter the places, people, experiences and events he encountered while traveling around Kanazawa. Titled “Kanazawa Drawings,” the 103 drawings produced over the course of the exhibition were viewed by many people both inside and outside the venue and provoked much discussion. These 21 works were carefully selected from among all the drawings created, and while each work stands on its own, the series also has an identity as a group of works.