Kazuo Shiraga
Japanese, 1924-2008
High auction record
$5m, Christie's, 2013
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Selected exhibitions
Ink Art Show,
Whitestone Gallery
A Feverish Era in Japanese Art: Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s,
Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga,
Dallas Museum of Art

For Kazuo Shiraga, a painting was defined by the gestures of its creation. He famously used non-traditional techniques to make his works, including performances using parts or the entirety of his body as a tool. In his famous piece, Challenging Mud (1955), Shiraga created an ephemeral form by wrestling with a mixture made from wall plaster and cement, causing injury to his body in the process. The majority of Shiraga’s work, however, was rendered on canvas via diverse methods, from dripping paints to painting with his feet. Speaking of his work, Shiraga once said that he wanted to make paintings “as slippery, as uncatchable as a sea cucumber, […] a painting with no center.” Shiraga was a founding member of the Zero Group; in 1952, he joined the Gutai Group and was active through its disbandment.

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