De Buck Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of works by acclaimed Japanese Gutai master Shozo Shimamoto. The exhibition, entitled Do Something Interesting, See Something Odd will be on view at the gallery from November 3, 2016 through February 18, 2017, and an opening reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, November 3 from 6-8 PM. On the occasion of "Do Something Interesting, See Something Odd" an exhibition catalogue is published, featuring an essay by curator Yoshio Kato, with special thanks to Whitestone Gallery, Shozo Shimamoto Association, and shimamotoLAB Inc.
Do Something Interesting, See Something Odd, delves ever deeper into Shimamoto’s revolutionary career trajectory. The exhibition provides an overview of the maturation of Shimamoto’s style and technique. Centerpieces include examples of his trademark Bottle Crash series, in which the artist created lively, abstract paint-smattered works by ceremoniously throwing bottles and other containers full of pigment at otherwise blank canvases, highlighting the innovative performance-based methods and the energy, visually documented within the works, with which Shimamoto approached his art over the course of his lengthy career. Pieces such as the 2011 Untitled (Ping Pong), which incorporates islands of ping pong balls across the surface of the canvas, exemplify a characteristic playfulness and desire to push the limits of what is possible in art that embodies the very spirit of Gutai, and of Shimamoto’s work and life.
Following an encounter with the elder artist Jiro Yoshihara as a young man, Shozo Shimamoto quickly became an integral member of Yoshihara’s Gutai group, the key artistic movement in a recovering post-war Japan. Yoshihara’s call to “do what has never been done” in art, inspired Shimamoto and his young compatriots to experiment and thereby create ground-breaking artwork that in many ways calls to mind the performative Happenings that began to pop up in the United States and Europe during the same period of the 1950s and 1960s. Following the dissolution of Gutai in the early 1970s, Shimamoto became a pioneer of the Mail Art movement, as well as an ambassador of peace, even being recognized as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
Born in Osaka in 1928, Shimamoto’s importance in the Gutai movement has been honored in exhibitions at prominent institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and multiple editions of the Venice Biennale. His work is also represented in the permanent collections of the Tate Modern (London), the Rachofsky House (Dallas), and the Osaka Museum of Art. Shozo Shimamoto passed away in 2013 at the age of 85.
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