SM System D

Ado Sato (1936 - 1994)



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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    With a bright red field of colour and crisp, linear style, this print by Ado Sato reflects the artist’s training as a graphic designer. His print hovers somewhere between abstraction and figuration. Set against the vivid red background, an ovoid form reminiscent of a medicinal lozenge or tablet, appears to contain other smaller forms that partly resemble chemical compound illustrations. Further examples of prints from this period by Ado in other collections, such as The Cage (1969, MOMA, New York), also reveal an affinity for representing forms that seem rooted in science and technology. During the 1960s, printmaking was a medium that had experienced a revolution in terms of new developments in printmaking techniques, allowing more accessibility for artistic creativity and experimentation. The quasi-scientific imagery in Ado’s print, made in 1970, also suggests an interest in the then increasing developments in computer design and technology.  

    This print is one of several works purchased by the Government Art Collection from The Oxford Gallery in 1974. An independent, artist-run space, the gallery championed work by new and established artists alike.

  • About the artist
    Ado Sato was born in Yokohama in 1936, the son of painter Key Sato and opera singer Yoshiko Sato. He exhibited regularly in Japan during the early 1950s, and in 1954, won the Young Artists Prize at the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura. He studied aesthetics at Keiō University, Tokyo, obtaining his diploma in 1961. A year later he moved to Paris where his work was celebrated and exhibited at the Paris Biennale, followed by his participation in subsequent print biennales and exhibitions in St Paul de Vence, Paris and Avignon up to 1975. His first solo exhibition in London was held at the Hamilton Galleries, in Hanover Square, in January 1964. His work is represented in numerous public collections including Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; MoMA New York; MoMAK, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura and Hayama; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Yokohama Cultural Center. Ado Sato died in Tokyo in 1995. An exhibition of his graphic work was held at La Galerie des Modernistes in Paris in 2004.
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  • Details
    SM System D
    Purchased from the Oxford Gallery, July 1974
    below image: 29/29 / SM System D, ADO, 1970
    GAC number