Archived exhibition
4th Floor Gallery

Kazuo Shiraga
Paintings and Watercolours

20 September–20 October 2001

Annely Juda Fine Art is pleased to announce the first UK exhibition of the Buddhist priest Kazuo Shiraga who is internationally regarded as one of the most important pioneer abstract artists who emerged in Japan in the 1950s. He is renowned for his bold gestural action paintings that are created by the artist on the floor by painting with his feet whilst holding onto a rope hanging from the ceiling.

Now in his late seventies, Kazuo Shiraga was born in Amagasaki near the site of the great Hansin earthquake of 1994. He founded the ‘Zero’ group in 1952 with two other artists who believed that ‘art should be created from zero, nothing’. In the summer of 1954, Shiraga recalls, he ‘jumped into the middle of the  canvas to make the first of the “foot” paintings’. He found he could achieve a virulent striking effect by creating a painting all at once in a short space of time using large quantities of paint. Shortly afterwards the Zero Group merged with the larger and more prestigious ‘Gutai’ group amongst whose stated aims were to prove their spirits were free. The group pioneered the artist’s new and unique art forms that were unrestricted by conventional concepts of art. The works they produced were the precursors of today’s installation, performance and media art forms.

This exhibition comprises fifteen paintings up to 260 cm in size and six works on paper which briefly chronicle his work from 1953 until 2000.