Kaiteki Toda, Le Squelette dans la nature, In the Eye of Rage

Eloïse Poirson and Emmanuel Roucher from the Galerie Rage highlight their favorite artwork, a painting on silk by Kaiteki Toda, Le Squelette dans la nature , poetic vanity, symbol of renewal. An invitation to the heart of the 1920s Montparnasse, into the world of Japanese painters from the Ecole de Paris

During the Meiji era, Japan modernized, opened up to the West and to new pictorial techniques Many artists went to Paris to study art in search of new pictorial techniques Between 1920 and 1929, around 200 artists Japanese are in Paris, most of them live in Montparnasse Of these artists we remember the eminent Tsugouharu Foujita, but Kaiteki Toda is also one of the outstanding figures of the Japanese current The American writer Robert Mc Almon [1] wrote to his about: "His beautifully sculpted head and his entire appearance awakened in us the legends of the Samurai knights of the time before the upstarts of the Western world invaded Japan" He left Tokyo for Paris in 1923 An anecdote tells that he would have cut off his finger before leaving in order to leave it in his native land, in the idea that if he never returned, a part of him would remain in his native land This act testifies to the cultural uprooting cu by Toda, but also from a no doubt particular relationship to death

In Paris, Toda exhibited in numerous salons which then punctuated the artistic life of the time. He painted in a relatively serial manner Koi fish and the Heron , painted on silk and kept at the Pompidou Center are very representative of his work Toda is not not influenced by the avant-gardes of the time and always painted in a very traditional way Foujita, to whom he was close, said of him "He is a free spirit... He paints carp all the time, and although he paints the same object a hundred times, he has the uncanny ability to do it well a hundred times”

In this, the work presented here denotes…

The skeleton in nature

Watercolor, gouache, black ink on silk with silver

Signed K Toda and inscribed in Japanese Made in Paris by Toda in the fall of 1925 lower left

80.9 x 151cm

Let’s take a closer look…

A favorite of Emmanuel Roucher, his "little princess" as he likes to call her is a complex work full of surprises At first glance, we do not see everything that is happening We see a lying body, a corpse in a desert landscape When you approach and start to look for a long time, you see life little by little wriggling and even teeming because the scene is full of insects This painting is not at all what it seems to be, that is to say morbid The insects and their location have been chosen with care The scorpion and the path of ants towards sex are charged with strong symbolism The corpse sinks into an earth which regains the upper hand, it blends into the landscape

Vanity with a peaceful and creaking faith, spectacular in its life-size size, it is a very precious painting The work of silk, silver, gold, the person represented was undoubtedly someone important and high-ranking She wears bracelets on her arm and ankle, a symbol of liberation through death… Liberation which he will in turn find by committing suicide in 1931 A testamentary work? Difficult to confirm this but the hypothesis remains legitimate. 73-74