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20TH CENTURY MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
Guggenheim Museum Publications

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.75 x 11 in. / 316 pgs / 270 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2013 p. 24   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780892074891 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $75.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

TERRITORY
WORLD

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 02/15/13-05/08/13

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GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM PUBLICATIONS

Gutai: Splendid Playground

Text by Alexandra Munroe, Ming Tiampo, Yoshihara Jiro, Hirai Shoichi, Reiko Tomii, Kato Mizuho, Midori Yoshimoto, Judith Rodenbeck, Pedro Erber, Lyn Hsieh, Nakajima Izumi.

Gutai: Splendid PlaygroundThe Gutai Art Association was founded by Yoshihara Jiro in 1954 in the cosmopolite town of Ashiya, near Osaka. The group spanned two generations, totaling 59 artists and is one of the most radical movements in postwar Japanese art history. Published in conjunction with the first United States museum retrospective ever devoted to Gutai, exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Gutai: Splendid Playground surveys the influential Japanese collective and artistic movement. This exhibition catalogue aims to demonstrate the range of bold and innovative creativity present in the avant-garde movement, to examine the aesthetic strategies in the cultural, social and political context of postwar Japan and the West, and to further establish Gutai in an expanded, transnational history and critical discourse of modern art. Organized thematically and chronologically to explore Gutai’s unique approach to materials, concepts, process, performativity and enviroment, this publication investigates the group’s radical experimentation across a range of media and styles, and demonstrates how individual artists pushed the limits of what art could be or mean in a post-atomic era. The range includes painting, conceptual art, performance, film, installation art, sound art, interactive art, light art and kinetic art. Illustrating some 120 objects by 25 artists and featuring both iconic Gutai and lesser-known works, Splendid Playground presents a rich survey reflecting new scholarship, especially on “late Gutai” works dating from 1965 to 1972. The bold and innovative catalogue design reflects the unfettered creativity of Gutai. In addition, an extensive appendix features a selection of Gutai artists’ writings, an illustrated chronology, artist biographies and a bibliography.

Featured image is reproduced from Gutai: Splendid Playground.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Artforum

Joan Kee

For the group that officially called itself the Gutai Art Association, being one step ahead was always something of a fine art.

The New York Times

Roberta Smith

"a mind-shifting exhibition about Japan's best-known postwar art movement… It displays 100 works of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation art, film and performance, supplemented by photomurals and printed matter, all brilliantly interwoven… Accompanied by a terrific catalog, their effort should permanently dislodge any notion of postwar modernism as a strictly Western phenomenon…Gutai: Splendid Playground" is a breath of fresh air. "

Time Out Magazine

Barbara Pollack

The charismatic Yoshihara established Gutai as the most important expressionof Japanese art during the postwar period.

Art in America

Janet Koplos

Gutai... involved time, action, and performance as it sought a "new autonomous space" and redefined "picturing" as a whole body experience (in the artists' words). The freshness is multiplied when you consider the propriety of Japan's hierarchical traditional culture and decades of oppressive militaristic government.

Art News

Lilly Wei

Founded in 1954 by artist Yoshihara Jiro ... the Gutai Art Association was intended to connect the avant-garde art of Europe, America, and Japan. A collective of young experimental Japanese artists who gleefully disregarded the boundaries circumscribing traditional artworks, Gutai (defined as concreteness) combined painting and sculpture with film, installation, music, performance and communal happenings in exuberantly unorthodox resolutions that still look remarkably fresh.

Gutai: Splendid Playground

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/20/2013

'Gutai: Splendid Playground' Necessitates Some Adjustment in Thinking

'Gutai: Splendid Playground' Necessitates Some Adjustment in Thinking

Featured image—of Tsuruko Yamazaki's "Tin Cans" and the painting "Work," both originally produced in 1955—is reproduced from the Guggenheim Museum's "terrific" exhibition catalog for Gutai: Splendid Playground, which critic Roberta Smith called "a mind-shifting exhibition about Japan’s best-known postwar art movement" in a recent New York Times review. She continues, "The works in this show are… generally relaxed and even fun-loving. The idea of art as an occasion for liberating, medium-mixing, often participatory play was a serious component of Gutai thought, especially during its first decade. Formed in 1954, the Gutai Art Association stressed the importance of uninhibited individual actions, the thwarting of expectations and even silliness as ways to counter the passivity and conformity that enabled the country’s militarist government to become so disastrously powerful in the previous decades, invading China and then charging into World War II… Whatever else you may think of these pieces, they relocate some of the origins of participatory art, so much the rage today. Similarly, the show reveals little-known precedents for all kinds of seemingly Euro-American-centered developments, including Happenings, Minimalism, specific objects and various strains of land art, installation art, Conceptual Art and relational aesthetics. Nearly every work necessitates some adjustment in thinking." continue to blog


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