• Zachary Heinzerling, Action Is Art: A Study of Ushio Shinohara’s Boxing Painting, 2012, digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes.

    Ushio Shinohara

    Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (SDMA)

    When Sonny Rollins shaved his hair into a Mohawk in 1958, he was declaring solidarity with American Indians. When, that year in Tokyo, Ushio Shinohara did the same, it wasn’t clear what the gesture meant. An early drawing (also 1958) in “Shinohara Pops!: The Avant-Garde Road, Tokyo/New York,” the artist’s recent retrospective at the Dorsky Museum, provides a clue. The self-portrait, titled Danmo and Beat Painterdanmo a hip inversion of modan, as in “modern jazz”—shows the artist, hair shaved into a Mohawk, smoking a cigarette in a bar. Hanging behind his funky head like a caption is

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