This publication is produced in occasion with the exhibition of the same title organised by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from February to May 2013.
The exhibition presents the Japanese artist group Gutai, an avant-garde collective active in the postwar era. Its members explored new art forms combining performance, painting, and interactive environments and created an international common ground of experimental art through the worldwide reach of their exhibition and publication activities, as a response to the aftermath of Japan's wartime totalitarianism. They are well-known for their radical methods of art making, and in particular the ways in which they reinvented painting, organised exhibitions at various public sites, and made closer the distance between art, the public, and the everyday.
Organised around 6 themes, each of which represents an aspect of the group's project, the exhibition showcases an overview of the group's practices and puts it into a historical context within an international framework. It emphasises the elements of exchange between Gutai and its contemporaries around the world, showing that late modernism after the war was not so much only an Euro-American story as a network crossing the whole world.
Includes an anthology of Gutai artists' writings (compiled and translated by Reiko Tomii), a chronology of the collective, a list of Gutai artists, biographies of artists in the exhibition, and a select bibliography.
Play: An Uninhabited Act
Network: To Introduce our Works to our World
Concept: Can a Piece of Cloth be a Work of Art?
The Concrete: The Scream of Matter Itself
Performance Painting: Pictures with Time and Space
Environment: Gutai Art for the Space Age
New Perspectives on Gutai
An Experiment in Collectivism: Gutai's Prewar Origin and Postwar Evolution - Reiko TOMII, 富井玲子