Ay-O Ay-O

Ay-O

Ay-O
Ay-O

Ay-O, along with Masuo Ikeda and others, actively participated in the Demokrato Artists Association during the 1950s, gaining attention for his vibrant and colourful paintings. In 1958, he relocated to New York and began incorporating physical objects into his art to initiate interactions with the outside world, thereby allowing for sensory experiences. This approach led to his ‘finger boxes’, inviting individuals to insert their fingers into a hole on the side of the box to feel the hidden materials. Ay-O also developed installation pieces that seamlessly merge with their surroundings. His artworks engage all five senses, transcending the boundaries of traditional painting. Ay-O’s choices of various locations and environments make him a precursor to contemporary Happenings and installations.

As a member of the Fluxus movement, which transcended the narrow divisions of genre by including musicians, poets and artists in performances and printed works, Ay-O collaborated with notable figures such as Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono. Departing from the conventional practice of using only lines in his artwork, he began incorporating various colours, from red to purple. This innovation led to the creation of his renowned ‘rainbow’ works, which propelled him to international recognition and earned him worldwide fame as well as the nickname ‘rainbow artist’, following his exhibition at the 1966 Venice Biennale.

ARTWORKS

ARTICLES

Vibrant Visions: Exploring 'Ay-O's Happy Rainbow Hell' at the National Asian Art Museum, U.S.A.

2023.07.11
ART NEWS

IMAGES

Rainbow Sea Scape, 1970, Acrylic on canvas, 185.0 x 247.0cm
Olympic Eight, 1992, Acrylic on canvas, 181.8 x 227.3cm
Olympic Yachts_1992, Acrylic on canvas, 181.8 x 227.3cm
installation image, Karuizawa, 2019
installation image, Karuizawa, 2019
installation image, Karuizawa, 2019

BIOGRAPHY

1931
Born in Ibaraki prefecture.
1953
Joins the Demokrato Artists association.
1954
Graduates from Art Department, Faculty of Education, the Tokyo Kyoiku University (the present University of Tsukuba).
1955
Founds Group Jitsuzaisha with Masuo Ikeda and others.
1958
Moves to the United States. Ay-O sets up a base in NewYork thereafter and he begins going back and forth between Japan and the U.S.
1961
Devotes himself to Fluxus mouvement on referral from Yoko Ono.
1964
Exhibits series of Rainbow Happening as part of the Fluxus event (the Carnegie Recital Hall, New York).
1966
Appeared in Allan Kaprow’s book “Assemblage, Environments & Happenings” as the early Environment artist along with Yayoi Kusama and George Segal.
Represented Japan at the 33rd Venice Biennale.
1971
Represented Japan at the 11th Sao Paulo Biennale in which he receives Brazil Bank Prize.
1987
Suspends a 300 meters long rainbow banner from the Eiffel Tower in Paris
1995
Receives a Prize Purple Ribbon
2006
Solo show “Over the Rainbow: Ay-O Retrospective 1950-2006” (Fukui Fine Arts Museum,Fukui, Miyazaki Prefectural Museum).
2010
Solo show “Ay-O 1950s-2010: Retrospective” commemorating twenties anniversary from the museum foundation(Tsukuba Museum of Art, Ibaraki).
2012
Solo show “Ay-O: Over the Rainbow Once More”(Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Niigata City Art Museum, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art).

 

MAIL MAGAZINE

If you chose to subscribe to our newsletter, you will receive the latest news and exclusive offers by email.