new-york

Kazuo Shiraga

McCaffrey Fine Art | 23 East 67th Street

Though Kazuo Shiraga (1924–2008) has long been considered one of the most important members of Japan’s Gutaï group, this lucid exhibition was his first solo show in the United States. In consequence, many viewers may have been unaware, at least initially, of the salient fact that he painted with his feet. Laying his support (first flimsy paper, later canvas) on the floor, and holding on to a rope suspended from the ceiling of his studio, he would slip and slide through blobs of oil paint. The marks that resulted have a kind of beastly quality: deeply furrowed; seemingly random, sometimes spasmodic, in their trajectories; with pigments messily intermixing and dragging themselves across the canvas in striated streaks. Six such paintings, made between 1961 and 2001, were on view at McCaffrey Fine Art, along with a judicious selection of performance documentation from the 1950s, including a

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