new-york

View of “Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga,” 2015, Dallas Museum of Art. From left: Kazuo Shiraga, Kan’uncho, 1984; Kazuo Shiraga, Fuso, 1986; Kazuo Shiraga, Imayo Ranbu, 2000. Photo: Chad Redmon.

Kazuo Shiraga

Various Venues

View of “Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga,” 2015, Dallas Museum of Art. From left: Kazuo Shiraga, Kan’uncho, 1984; Kazuo Shiraga, Fuso, 1986; Kazuo Shiraga, Imayo Ranbu, 2000. Photo: Chad Redmon.

THE GUTAI GROUP may be the cicadas of postwar art—forever cycling through visibility and obscurity, suddenly bursting into view every ten years or so. Buoyed by the attentions of critic and curator Michel Tapié, the group formed in Ashiya, Japan, in 1954, and made their New York debut at the Martha Jackson Gallery just four years later, only to be summarily dismissed as latecomers to the Abstract Expressionist party. Nearly a decade later, they resurfaced in New York again, in “New Japanese Painting and Sculpture” at the Museum of Modern Art, but that too proved a short-lived spotlight, one whose wattage owed more to Cold War–inflected interest in pre-Olympics Japan than to the works actually shown. In the mid-1980s and in the second half of the ’90s, a spate of group exhibitions in Europe and Japan proved promising, among them the Gutai retrospective at the Galerie Nationale

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