Takesada Matsutani makes a magazine cover
Only a few weeks after we posed our question, an impromptu iPhone video arrived from Matsutani’s studio showing him leafing gingerly through not one but three striking new artworks he had created as proposals for the cover—each one a folding three-part collage with holes hand-cut through the front, forming a kind of peekaboo page-turner. After a few days of agonizing deliberation, we chose his second proposal, Eyes, which has now become Ursula’s first artist-commissioned bespoke cover, a true keeper for magazine fans. Here, we proudly present all three of Matsutani’s works for the cover, each an artist’s book of its own.
Video of Takesada Matsutani showing the three covers he made for Ursula No. 9
In the 1960s and 1970s, Takesada Matsutani was a key member of the second generation of the Gutai Art Association, the influential postwar Japanese art collective. Over five decades, he has developed a unique visual language, melding form and materials. After the Gutai group disbanded in 1972, Matsutani developed a radical solo practice, informed by his experience at the renowned Atelier 17 print workshop in Paris. He began creating vast expanses of metallic black graphite on mural-size sheets of paper, painstakingly built up with individual strokes. This ritualized process presents a time-based record of his gestures and is reminiscent of his artistic beginnings in Japan, though it is translated into an artistic language entirely his own.