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Kazuo Shiraga: A Retrospective at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

8 January 2020

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 axe; 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.

Exhibition runs from 11 January - 22 March 2020

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery 

Image: Kazuo Shiraga, ‘Eitoku’, Enslû’, Chikamatsu’, ‘Buson’, ‘Kôkan’, ‘Kuniyosho’, 1990, lithograph, edition 75, 6 parts: 60 x 82 cm each

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