“The GUTAI were a very simple group whose work is defined by what is ‘interesting’ and what is ’not.' It was by all means an infinite and limitless world that followed the mantra of ‘it must be fresh' and accompanies 'new discoveries or inventions.’ I was greatly spurred by the fearless mottos ‘don’t imitate' and ‘a world novelty’ in my youth.”

Tsuyoshi Maekawa (2020)

“GUTAI”, officially known as Gutai Art Association, is the first radical, post-war artistic group in Japan. Founded in 1954 with the aim to go beyond abstraction and pursue enthusiastically the possibilities of pure creativity, they emphasized that Gutai art does not alter matter but rather speaks of the delicate interaction between spirit and matter that ultimately enables art to tell a story. The name “GUTAI” was meant to “present concrete proof that our spirit is free.” The “Spirit” was considered to be specific to each individual but also an abstract entity. GUTAI was formed by a collection of young artists led by Jiro Yoshihara. Under this charismatic leader, a group of young artists cheerfully challenged the boundaries circumscribing traditional art works.

This exhibition, entitled "GUTAI STILL ALIVE," will feature 14 Gutai artists. We have a tendency to consider GUTAI as a movement on historical context however, some artists who belonged to the group including Tsuyoshi Maekawa have been still working actively to break a new ground. As well as the group’s further international reputation for the last decade, the word “GUTAI” itself has been mentioned in various discourses on art. What have the members gained from “GUTAI”, how have they pursued their own creative spirit bridging it to today, and why have we been so intensely fascinated with “GUTAI” ? It will be our great pleasure if this exhibition would show even a portion of the charm of this unprecedented group.

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gutai Exhibitions Installtion View

Karuizawa Gallery

1151-5 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano, Japan
Tel: +81 (0)267 46 8691
Fax: +81 (0)267 46 8692
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
Closed: Monday
More Info

IG Live Karuizawa New Art Museum Tour

June 17 @ 5pm (JPT) (conducted in Japanese)

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