Monday, November 8, 2010

Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Concrete Art Association)

The Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai art movement was created by avant-garde Surrealist painter Yashihara Jiro in Osaka, Japan in 1954. After being suppressed by the government as a surrealist painter in the 1930's, Yashihara Jiro set out to produce artwork he felt had never existed before. The Gutai artists focused on spontaneity and the "accidental" effects that take place during the creative process. Yoshihara wanted to give form to the formless.
The Gutai philosophy took inspiration from theories by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung who believed artists could express deep emotions and ideas that lie within the subconscious. This inspired the Gutai group to find ways to express this Eastern-Western concept of ideas.
Of the thousands of works made by Gutai artists, few were saved except for photographs. Many times, after exhibitions, all the artwork was purposefully destroyed to further emphasize the importance of process and the act of creation. The movement only lasted for eighteen years, but the group had experimented with new forms of visual expression, indoor and outdoor installations, and working with film, action events, theater, and music to combine themes of new and old that blended and fused with western ideas.

Link to Gutai Manifesto:

O'Riley,Michael Kampen. Art Beyond the West. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2001.

Photo: Shiraga Kazuo, Performance at the Second Gutai Art Exhibition, Ohara Kaikan Hall, Tokyo. October 1956.

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