Sadamasa Motonaga born in 1922 was a Japanese abstract painter and a founding member of the avant-garde Gutai group. In 1950s Motonaga’s work was abstract in style, featuring flowing lines and pools of brightly coloured pigment poured and dripped onto the canvas that became his identifying style. By the mid-1960s it had developed into knotted forms that were finely modeled with airbrush.
Subsequently by the 1970s, Motonaga began using canned spray paint, creating a style that was fresh and contemporary, associated to graffiti and animation. Motonaga’s style has influenced a generation of contemporary artists, such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara. His work has been the subject of many retrospectives, including at Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe in 1998, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003, and the Mie Prefectural Museum of Art in 2009. Dallas Museum of Art held the first Western exhibition of his work in 2014. He died 2011 in Kobe, Japan.