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Gutai:Selected small works

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Whitestone Gallery Hollywood Road is proud to present selection of smaller scale works from post-war Japanese avant-garde art movement Gutai.

Gutai is one of the most important art movements in post war Japan formed in 1954 by a collection of young artists led by Jiro Yoshihara. Under this charismatic leader, a group of young artists cheerfully challenged the boundaries circumscribing traditional art works. Their stage performance, installation, happening, and use of unconventional materials on their work is still surprisingly fresh and sharp.

For this exhibition, the gallery has prepared historical works from 1960s to recent creations by Gutai collective; Kazuo Shiraga, Chiyu Uemae, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Yasuo Sumi, and Shozo Shimamoto. Even all five artists have very different style and way of creation, they did not hesitate to use unconventional materials, and try innovative way of creating paintings. Barely using a traditional brush, artists accomplished `bringing material to life without changing material itself` (Gutai Manifesto, 1956)
Due to its celebrative and challenging spirit of the group, many of Gutai`s early works were more focused on performance, large installation and happening. The group`s focus gradually moved to more two dimensional works from early 1960s coinciding the opening of Gutai Pinacotheca, an exhibition space for not only Gutai artists but also for notable western artists including Lucio Fontana, Guiseppe Capogrossi and Sam Francis.

One of the regular exhibitions held in this historic venue was `Gutai Exhibition for Small Works` which became an inspiration of this presentation. By introducing smaller scale works, it will be more approachable and comprehensive, but also very specific introduction of Gutai art movement and its individual artists.

The group`s leader Jiro Yoshihara relentlessly demanded to the members to create art unlike any that had ever existed in the past. And the very spirit is still alive along with the artists who fearlessly followed their leader even after the group`s dissolution in 1972.

Gutai related recent museum exhibitions:
Gutai: Painting with Time and Space, Museo Cantonale d`Arte, Lugano, 2010
GUTAI: The Spirit of an Era, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2012
Gutai: Splended Playground, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013
A Taste of GUTAI, Ayala Museum, Manila, 2016