Lot No. 339 -


Kazuo Shiraga


(Amagasaki/Japan 1924–2008)
GI (The Game), 1991, signed Shiraga (Japanese) again titled, signed, dated on the reverse in Japanese and latin script Kazuo Shiraga 1991 December, oil on canvas, 73 x 60.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Galerie Nothelfer, Berlin (gallery label on the reverse)
Private Collection, South-Germany
Sale Van Ham Kunstauktionen, Cologne, May 31, 2017, Lot 332
acquired there from the present owner

Exhibited:
Galerie Nothelfer, Berlin 1992
Galerie Stadler, Paris 1992

Literature:
Manfred de la Motte, Kazuo Shiraga, Berlin 1992, p. 108 (colour ill.)
Exhibition catalogue, Kazuo Shiraga, Galerie Stadler Paris 1992, p. 5 (colour ill.)

“Something comes out of your subconscious”
Kazuo Shiraga

The Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga is one of the most important artists of the Japanese post-war avantgarde and belonged to the Gutai group, which was founded in Osaka in 1954. The foot-painting method, which remained unchanged until his death, is the main characteristic of Kazuo Shiraga’s work. As early as December 1953, the artist no longer applied the paint and pigment to the canvas with his hands, but worked almost exclusively with his feet.
The word Gutai means “concrete” in the sense of spontaneous, direct, related to the ability to express one’s own thoughts and feelings unedited and abruptly. (GUTAI, Japanische Avantgarde 1954-1965, exhibition catalogue, Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt 1991, p. 20) Through striving for immediacy and spontaneity, the life of the human soul is revealed in its entire depth. The young artists work through the events of the war in their art using the whole body and with the help of their spiritual power. The extroverted working methods of the Japanese artists, the performative painting with hands and feet, happenings and installations visualising their experiences, and the young performative art has received great attention in America and Europe.

The guiding principles formulated by Jori Yoshihara, the oldest of the Gutai artists and founder of the movement, in the Gutai Manifesto “Create something that no one before you has created - beware of imitating others” (ibid.) suggest that Japanese artists have intensively engaged with themselves and their own history and culture. Michel Tapié, the theoretician of Informel, presented the works of Gutai to the public as early as the end of the 1950s as the Japanese equivalent of Informel in Europe.
The term Informel serves as a generic term for the various art movements that are based on the non-geometric traditional line of abstract painting. These include, Abstract Expressionism, Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Art Brut and Tachism.

For contemporary painting, Gutai was an important movement that embodied on the one hand, the action of the artist himself and, on the other, the materialisation of painting. In the works of Kazuo Shiraga, it becomes clear how the traces of the artist’s violent action and the materiality of the paint, although contradictory, reach out to each other. These two features, the action and the materiality of colour, form a constant in his works until his death. In 1971 Kazuo Shiraga entered the Buddhist temple Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei as a candidate for the priesthood in the Tendai sect. He completed his religious education as a Buddhist monk in 1974 and began to study painting even more intensively until his death in 2008.

“Central to Shiraga’s efforts to reinvent the act in painting was the question of artistic technique or technology, seen in the elaborate contrivances and settings into which he sought to insert his moving body – or again, later, when the group disbanded, with his turn to Zen asceticism of the ‘marathon monks’ of the Tendai sect. Making a painting became a spiritual technique.” (Kazuo Shiraga, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, 2015, p. 272)
Shiraga’s works, which are often in black, white and red, represent the finding and mediation of the living “ki”. It is his lifelong approach to meditation, his way of coming to terms with himself, his experiences and his environment.

“Create something that no
one before you
has ever created - beware of imitating others”
Guiding principles of the Gutai, by their founder Jori Yoshihara 1956

Specialist: Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers
+49-211-210 77 47

petra.schaepers@dorotheum.de

27.11.2019 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 511,259.-
Estimate:
EUR 240,000.- to EUR 280,000.-

Kazuo Shiraga


(Amagasaki/Japan 1924–2008)
GI (The Game), 1991, signed Shiraga (Japanese) again titled, signed, dated on the reverse in Japanese and latin script Kazuo Shiraga 1991 December, oil on canvas, 73 x 60.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Galerie Nothelfer, Berlin (gallery label on the reverse)
Private Collection, South-Germany
Sale Van Ham Kunstauktionen, Cologne, May 31, 2017, Lot 332
acquired there from the present owner

Exhibited:
Galerie Nothelfer, Berlin 1992
Galerie Stadler, Paris 1992

Literature:
Manfred de la Motte, Kazuo Shiraga, Berlin 1992, p. 108 (colour ill.)
Exhibition catalogue, Kazuo Shiraga, Galerie Stadler Paris 1992, p. 5 (colour ill.)

“Something comes out of your subconscious”
Kazuo Shiraga

The Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga is one of the most important artists of the Japanese post-war avantgarde and belonged to the Gutai group, which was founded in Osaka in 1954. The foot-painting method, which remained unchanged until his death, is the main characteristic of Kazuo Shiraga’s work. As early as December 1953, the artist no longer applied the paint and pigment to the canvas with his hands, but worked almost exclusively with his feet.
The word Gutai means “concrete” in the sense of spontaneous, direct, related to the ability to express one’s own thoughts and feelings unedited and abruptly. (GUTAI, Japanische Avantgarde 1954-1965, exhibition catalogue, Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt 1991, p. 20) Through striving for immediacy and spontaneity, the life of the human soul is revealed in its entire depth. The young artists work through the events of the war in their art using the whole body and with the help of their spiritual power. The extroverted working methods of the Japanese artists, the performative painting with hands and feet, happenings and installations visualising their experiences, and the young performative art has received great attention in America and Europe.

The guiding principles formulated by Jori Yoshihara, the oldest of the Gutai artists and founder of the movement, in the Gutai Manifesto “Create something that no one before you has created - beware of imitating others” (ibid.) suggest that Japanese artists have intensively engaged with themselves and their own history and culture. Michel Tapié, the theoretician of Informel, presented the works of Gutai to the public as early as the end of the 1950s as the Japanese equivalent of Informel in Europe.
The term Informel serves as a generic term for the various art movements that are based on the non-geometric traditional line of abstract painting. These include, Abstract Expressionism, Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Art Brut and Tachism.

For contemporary painting, Gutai was an important movement that embodied on the one hand, the action of the artist himself and, on the other, the materialisation of painting. In the works of Kazuo Shiraga, it becomes clear how the traces of the artist’s violent action and the materiality of the paint, although contradictory, reach out to each other. These two features, the action and the materiality of colour, form a constant in his works until his death. In 1971 Kazuo Shiraga entered the Buddhist temple Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei as a candidate for the priesthood in the Tendai sect. He completed his religious education as a Buddhist monk in 1974 and began to study painting even more intensively until his death in 2008.

“Central to Shiraga’s efforts to reinvent the act in painting was the question of artistic technique or technology, seen in the elaborate contrivances and settings into which he sought to insert his moving body – or again, later, when the group disbanded, with his turn to Zen asceticism of the ‘marathon monks’ of the Tendai sect. Making a painting became a spiritual technique.” (Kazuo Shiraga, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, 2015, p. 272)
Shiraga’s works, which are often in black, white and red, represent the finding and mediation of the living “ki”. It is his lifelong approach to meditation, his way of coming to terms with himself, his experiences and his environment.

“Create something that no
one before you
has ever created - beware of imitating others”
Guiding principles of the Gutai, by their founder Jori Yoshihara 1956

Specialist: Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers
+49-211-210 77 47

petra.schaepers@dorotheum.de


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Contemporary Art I
Date: 27.11.2019 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 16.11. - 27.11.2019


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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