Gutai x International: Across the Ocean

Ashiya City Museum of Art & History

poster for Gutai x International: Across the Ocean

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In 1954, a Japanese painter, Jiro Yoshihara, along with Shozo Shimamoto, co-founded the avant-garde “Gutai” group in Ashiya, in response to the reactionary artistic context of the time. The name Gutai, meaning “concreteness” or “embodiment,” exemplified the group’s desire to create works that were a direct interaction between the artist and concrete materials. Their works, made in response to Yoshihara’s instruction to “create what has never existed before,” signified the importance of individuality, emotion and spirit as direct responses to materials. They rejected the traditional notion of painting as understood in the context of art history, and painted using non-traditional methods and materials.

Performance, large-scale multimedia environments, theatrical events and interactivity were also key elements throughout Gutai. The group consolidated their international presence in 1962, with the establishment of the Gutai Pinacotheca, which served as a base for their artistic exchanges with artists and critics from around the world. A highly significant exhibition of the group’s work took place during this period, at Expo ’70 in Osaka. One of the largest and best-attended expositions in history, this event provided a platform for Gutai to showcase their work on stage to thousands of people from all over the world. This exhibition cemented the group’s historical importance in the history of the Japanese avant-garde before its end in 1972, shortly following the death of Yoshihara.

This exhibition presents the dynamism of Gutai works in a new light.

[Related Events]
(1) Performance
Date: July.5 (Sat) 14:00-
Performance: Sadaharu Horio (artist and former “Gutai” member)
Admission: Free (Exhibition entrance ticket required)

(2) “Back to the Outdoor Exhibition” walk
Date: July.27 (Sun) 14:00- (Duration approx 2 hours)
Guide: Koichi Kawasaki (Professor, the Department of Creative Media Studies, Konan Women’s University)
Course: Hanshin Ashiya => Ashiya Park => Ashiya City Museum of Art & History
Participants: 20
Insurance cover: ¥300 (Exhibition entrance ticket required)
* Application is required. In the case of large number of applicants, participants will be chosen by lottery.

(3) Workshop
Date: Aug.2 (Sat), Aug.9 (Sat) From 14:00 on both days (Duration 1-1.5 hours)
Lecturer: Sadaharu Horio (artist and former “Gutai” member)
Admission: Free (Exhibition entrance ticket required) Everyone welcome.

(4) Gutai Talk Surfing
Date: Aug.10 (Sun) 14:00-
Lecturer: Shuji Mukai (artist and former “Gutai” member)
Admission: Free (Exhibition entrance ticket required)

(5) Gallery Talk
Date: July.12 (Sat), Aug.30 (Sat) From 14:00 on both days (Duration 1 hour)
Admission: Free (Exhibition entrance ticket required)

(6) Museum Concert
Date: July.19 (Sat) 11:00-
Performance by Rina Hayashi, Modern Classic Ensemble
Date: Sept.7 (Sun) 16:00-
Performance by Itsuko Maeda, Modern Classic Ensemble
Admission: Free (Exhibition entrance ticket required)

Please refer to the official site for further information.

[Image: Jiro Yoshihara “Black and White Circle” 1968. Property of Ashiya City Museum of Art and History]

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Schedule

from July 05, 2014 at 10:00 to September 07, 2014 at 17:00

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