Kazuo Shiraga Untitled 1964

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 405 The David Geffen Galleries

Shiraga was a member of the Japanese group called Gutai, which formed in 1954. (The name means “embodiment” or “concreteness” in Japanese.) In the aftermath of World War II, Gutai artists strove to create a completely new kind of painting. Abandoning the paintbrush and prioritizing action and process, Gutai’s members experimented with techniques that often involved the whole body. Shiraga rolled half naked in a pile of mud or painted with his arms, legs, and feet instead of with a brush. Untitled bears the traces of his many movements, gestures, and actions. As Shiraga said, “I want to paint as though rushing around on a battlefield, exerting myself to collapse from exhaustion.”

Oil on canvas
51 1/2 × 76 3/8" (130.8 × 194 cm)
Given anonymously
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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