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Untitled No. 2

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Arakawa Shūsaku
Japanese, 1936–2010

About this artwork

Arakawa Shûsaku was a painter, poet, filmmaker, and inventor whose work explores a range of philosophical issues that touch on perception, the mind-body connection, individual experience, visual and verbal ambiguity, architec- ture, and immortality. Viewing painting as an experimental exercise, Arakawa believed that a canvas is a place “to trap questions, areas, operations, [and] answers” and “make them visible by combining two or more languages.” Untitled No. 2 is an example of his early paintings, which are characterized by diagrammatic floor plans and geometric grids with arrows, dotted lines, paint drips, collaged elements, and stenciled letters. The work’s pictorial plane is fractured, as standard spatial signifiers describing the rooms of a house are complicated with personal terms such as “mother” and a tear in the canvas that reveals the underlying structure.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Arakawa Shūsaku


Untitled No. 2


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


121.9 × 162.6 cm (48 × 64 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Virginia Dwan

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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