Considered as the pioneer of Japanese action painting, Kazuo Shiraga is illustriously recognized internationally as a prominent figure from the GUTAI. Shiraga’s executes his paintings through gestural movements by painting with his feet while suspended from a rope. His trace of action left a thick accumulation of paint on the surface which are dynamic and full of stoicism. Before participating in GUTAI in 1955, Shiraga was already an active member of “zero society” which included members: Atsuko Tanaka, Akira Kanayama, and Saburo Murakami. French art critic, Michel Tapié and creator of the Art Informel manifesto, highly praised Shiraga’s spellbinding talent. Eventually, Shiraga enters into Buddhist priesthood at Enryakuji-Temple at Hieizan Mountain and receives his Buddhist name Sodo Shiraga which he continued to paint under. In 1993, Shiraga takes part in Venice Biennial and his work continues to fascinate art collectors around the world.






Les Abattoirs, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Toulouse et Midi-Pyrénées Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya / Amagasaki Cultural Center, Amagasaki / Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori / Asago Art Village, Asago / Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Ashiya / Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo / Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Midi-Pyrénées, Labège Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba / Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas / Enryakuji Kaikan, Ōtsu / Fukuyama Museum of Art, Fukuyama / Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo / Himeji City Museum of Art, Himeji / Hiroshima City Museum of Art, Hiroshima / Honkōji Temple, Amagasaki / Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe / Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki / The Kagawa Museum, Takamatsu / Kisoji Art Museum, Agematsu / Kita Modern Art Museum, Nara / Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu / Komagata Jūkichi Museum of Art, Nagaoka / Kōsetsuin Temple, Kyoto / Kure Municipal Museum of Art, Kure / Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo / Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Tsu / The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai / Musée Cantini, Marseille / Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris / Museum and Archives, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto / Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo / The Museum of Art Ehime, Matsuyama / Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu / The Museum of Art, Ibaraki / The Museum of Art, Kochi / The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama / The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga / The Museum of Modern Art, Toyoama / The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama / Nara Prefectural Museum of Art, Nara / The National Museum of Art, Osaka / The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / Nerima Art Museum, Tokyo / Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art/The Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Nagaoka / The Office of Tendaishū, Otsu / Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki / Oita Museum of Art, Oita / Osaka City Museum of Modern Art, Osaka / Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya / Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Shizuoka / Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Takamatsu / Tanabe City Museum of Art, Matsue / Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya / Tokyo Municipal Museum of Art, Tokyo / Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo / Walker Art Center, Minneapolis / The Warehouse, Dallas / Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama / Yokosuka Museum of Art, Yokosuka /


Work Ⅰ, 1958, oil on paper, 182.8 x 243.0 cm / Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Untitled, 1962, oil on canvas, 73.0 x 91.0 cm
Untitled, 1962, oil on canvas, 81.0 x 116.0 cm
Wild Boar Hunting Ⅱ, 1963, oil, bore hide, and spent bullets on panel, 180.0 x 278.5 cm / Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Daiitokuson, 1963, oil on canvas, 196.0 x 195.0 cm / Amagasaki-city
Shou-shou-shou, 1982, oil on canvas, 60.5x 72.7 cm
Kanotohitsuji no natsu, 1991, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 72.7 cm


Born in Amazasaki city, Hyogo.
Entered Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki Middle School (now known as Amagasaki high school). In his second school year, Shiraga left Judo club and joined the newly opened art club.
Studied Japanese painting at the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting (later renamed as Kyoto City University of Arts). After doing the military service during the wartime, Shiraga returned to the school again.
Due to pneumonia and rheumatic fever, Shiraga suffered in bed throughout this year. Shiraga was inspired by two art books written by Toyama Usaburo: "20seiki Kaiga Taikan" and "Jyunsui Kaiga-ron". The books were given by Kanayama Akira who owned a secondhand bookstore then.
Shiraga married Uemura Fujiko and graduated from Kyoto Municipal School of Painting (renamed from Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting in 1945). After the graduation, his work style was shifted to Western painting.
Joined the Osaka Municipal Institute of Art. Shiraga worked with Amagasaki Art Association, put great effort in preparation for Amagasaki City Exhibitions.
Presented the work at the 1st Kansai Comprehensive Art Exhibition (Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts). Around this time, Shiraga studied with local painter Ito Tsuguro, who was a member of Shin-Seisaku-ha Kyokai (New Production Association).
The 1st Amagasaki City Exhibition was held at the auditorium of Namba Elementary School, Amagasaki city. Genbi, short for Gendai Bijutsu Kondankai (Contemporary Art Discussion Group), was founded by a couple executives including Jiro Yoshihara. Shiraga established group Zero (Zero-kai) with Saburo Murakami , Akira Kanayama and Atsuko Tanaka.
Shiraga started making his first foot paintings. Shiraga’s foot paintings were appeared in the 1st Zero-kai Exhibition (works were displayed in a store window of the Sogo Department Store, Osaka). At the end of this year, Shiraga was joined the meeting of Gutai group with an invitation by Shozo Shimamoto. Around this time, Shiraga gradually expanded the scale of his foot paintings.
Shiraga moved to a new house in Amagasaki city and built himself a studio there. A joint meeting of the group Zero and the Gutai group was held at Shiraga's house, and the members of the group Zero (Akira Kanayama, Atsuko Tanaka, Saburo Murakami) were merged with the Gutai group. In this same year, Shiraga displayed his work at the 1st Gutai Art Exhibition (Ohara Kaikan, Tokyo) as a member of the Gutai group.
Michel Tapié traveled to Shiraga's house. During this time until 1960, Shiraga worked at the Amagasaki Municipal Seibun Elementary School.
Received a purchasing award at the 11th Premio Lissone International Exhibition(Italy).
Gutai Art New-Work Exhibition was held at Gutai Pinacotheca in Osaka.
Received an award of Excellence at the 6th Japanese Contemporary Art Award (Received the same award on the 7th Japanese Contemporary Art Award in 1966).
Presented the work at the Exhibition Nul 1965 (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam).
Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga offered stage design for the 25th Regular Performance "Jigokuhen(Hell Screen)" by Kansai Opera Company.
Shiraga ceased painting completely and begun training at the Tendai-sect Buddhist Enryakuji temple on Mount Hiei. He was given the monk name Sodo (Simple Path).
Took a debate-style examination called Kogakuryugi at the Enryakuji temple.
Exhibition Sadamasa Motonaga and Kazuo Shiraga (Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama).
Exhibition Kazuo Shiraga: Dynamism in Abstraction (Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art).
Exhibition: Encounter of Body and Matière (Amagasaki Cultural Center, Hyogo).
Exhibition Kazuo Shiraga: Action Painter was held at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art.
Died in Amagasaki due to sepsis on April 8th.
Exhibition Kazuo Shiraga: Painting Born Out of Fighting (Amagasaki Cultural Center (and other locations)).
Exhibition Gutai: The Spirit of an Era (The National Art Center, Tokyo)
Exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground (Guggenheim Museum, NewYork)
Exhibition Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga (Dallas Museum of Art)



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