Namiko Kunimoto

  • Kazuo Shiraga, Kanryu (Feeling), 1973, oil on canvas, 44 1⁄8 × 57 1⁄8".

    “Kazuo Shiraga: A Retrospective”

    Curated by Osamu Fukushi

    Throughout his career, Kazuo Shiraga imbued his work with tropes of the masculine hero. In early performances such as Dōzo, 1955, he stood bare-chested inside a precarious wooden structure while hacking at it with an ax; in Challenging Mud, 1955, he shaved his head like an American GI and wrestled with wet cement; and in works such as Red-Haired Devil, 1959, he used his physical prowess to make large-scale paintings with his feet. Later in life, Shiraga was drawn to the bodily demands of shugendō, an ascetic, mountain-based Buddhist practice. Tokyo Opera City Gallery’s

  • Fujiko Shiraga, White Board, 1955, painted wood. Photo: Osaka City Museum of Modern Art.
    passages October 30, 2015

    Fujiko Shiraga (1928–2015)

    ALL TOO OFTEN, revisionist historians tell the story of an important artist (usually female), who has been regrettably overshadowed by her (usually male) partner. In the case of Fujiko Shiraga this narrative certainly applies. Yet to try to simply reinstate her individual position in the nascent canon of Japanese postwar art does a disservice to her contributions overall. Fujiko should be recognized both for her own paintings and installations, and for the creative assistance she offered her husband, Kazuo Shiraga (1924–2008). Both were members of the Gutai Art Association, a Kansai-based art