Shozo Shimamoto
Japanese, 1928-2013
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Selected exhibitions
Fergus McCaffrey
Shimamoto - The Gutai Works,
Axel Vervoordt Gallery
`A Serious Bluffer` Solo Exhibition of Shozo Shimamoto,
Whitestone Gallery

Co-founder of the Japanese avant-garde collective the Gutai Art Group in the 1950s, Shozo Shimamoto pioneered action painting, performance art, and mail art, with a prevailing concern for the tension between the element of chance and the artist’s control. Early in his career, while painting on newspaper, he accidentally punctured the surface—an entirely chance event that he would transform into a formal, repetitive operation. He began a career-long study of the violent encounter with the surface of the painting, primarily through the creation of holes and cuts. Painting in vivid color and forming abstract forms with irregularly patterned holes, Shimamoto found that his gestures left a record of the artist’s physical action and gave the image a performative element. He eventually expanded his practice into live performance, often staging the creation of his paintings for a live audience.

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