previews

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

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

    “Kazuo Shiraga: A Retrospective”

    Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
    3 Chome-20-2 Nishishinjuku
    January 11–March 22, 2020

    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 retrospective will offer viewers a rare opportunity to see the full trajectory of the Gutai affiliate’s oeuvre through some one hundred of his works, including early figural paintings, archival photos, manuscripts, and documentary footage of his performances, as well as later abstractions.