Lot Essay Nobuo Sekine was a founding member of the influential Japanese movement Mono-ha (‘School of Things’). Active between 1968 and 1975, the group sought to engage with objects in their most reduced, organic states, exploring their intrinsic relations to one another and the spaces they inhabit. A contemporary of Lee Ufan, Sekine rose to prominence with large-scale natural sculptures such as Phase – Mother Earth (1968) and Phase of Nothingness (1970) which earnt him international acclaim at the Venice Biennale that year. ‘Phase’ would become a driving concept in his work, deriving from the branch of mathematics concerned with spatial deformations. Operating in dialogue with developments in the international art world – notably Arte Povera – Sekine conceived form and matter as fluid and infinitely variable. With its punctured, scarred surface covered in gold leaf, the present work is part of his Phase Conception series, created in the late 1980s, which saw him return to more painterly modes of expression. His works are held in public collections including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek and the National Museum of Art, Osaka.