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Japanese artist Atsuko Tanaka dead at 73

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NARA, Japan, Dec 11, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Japanese avant-garde artist Atsuko Tanaka has died in Nara, Japan, at age 73, it was reported Sunday.

Tanaka died Dec. 3 at a hospital near her home from pneumonia, the New York Times reported. Tanaka had been hospitalized since an auto accident last spring, Midori Nishizawa of the Paula Cooper Gallery, which represents her work in New York, told the Times.

Tanaka joined the Japanese artist group Gutai in 1955, one year after it was founded. Gutai supported a radically nontraditional, experimental play with non-representational materials.

Her most famous work was "Electric Dress," a 1956 piece comprised of colored lights that she wore for public performances. The same year, she did "Work (Bell)," a sequence of ringing sounds circulating the gallery via a button pressed by patrons.

Gutai artist Shozo Shimamoto called the piece "perhaps the first-ever invisible work in the history of art."

Tanaka later focused mainly on abstract paintings and drawings.

The Paula Cooper Gallery exhibited Tanaka's late paintings and drawings in 2004 and her "Electrifying Art" from the 50's and 60's were shown at the same time at New York University's Grey Art Gallery.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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