Whitestone Gallery Taipei is pleased to announce GUTAI-JIN in TAIPEI, a group exhibition that displays profound historical artworks done by artists from the GUTAI Art Association.
“GUTAI”, officially known as GUTAI Art Association, is the first radical, post-war artist group in Japan. Founded in 1954 aiming to go beyond abstraction, they embodied 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.” Led by Jiro YOSHIHARA, he instructed the members “Don’t copy anyone!”, and “Do something that was never seen before.” Michel Tapié, the French art critic who visited Japan in 1957, had introduced the group as “a paradigm of Art Informal (informal art) in Japan” to the world. GUTAI retrospectives were held in various countries as a recognition of this post-war art movement including the National Art Center, Tokyo in Japan, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (U.S.) and Musée Soulages Rodez in France.
The word GUTAI-JIN (具體人), which translates as “GUTAI People”, was firstly conceived by the Karuizawa New Art Museum. While preparing for a major GUTAI exhibition, the museum began to collect an archive of artists from the collective. In this process, they realized that the majority of pas retrospectives had focused on the so-called “GUTUI period”, which ranged from the collective’s foundation in 1954 to its dissolution in 1972. However, artists who belonged to the group continued their activities after the disbandment and continued to follow the YOSHIHARA’s guiding principle: do what has never been done before! Thus, the museum has introduced and advocated for this term as “continuing sprit of GUTAI” through a series of exhibitions and conferences.
Whitestone Gallery Taipei continues the spirit of GUTIN-JIN, showcasing the works by Jiro YOSHIHARA, Chiyu UEMAE, Sadamasa MOTONAGA, Kazuo SHIRAGA, Yasuo SUMI, Shozo SHIMAMOTO, Atsuko TANAKA, Tsuyoshi MAEKAWA, Takesada MATSUTANI, Yuko NASAKA, Shuji MUKAI, and Yutaka MATSUDA. We also invite Shuji MUKAI to attend the opening reception and participate in an artist conversation. In 1959, MUKAI exhibited his works for the first time in GUTAI Exhibition. He then became a member until the disbandment. His avant-garde works are composed of various types of symbols that filled the canvas, spaces, even installations, drawing him to the collaborations with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
Jiro YOSHIHARA / Chiyu UEMAE / Sadamasa MOTONAGA / Kazuo SHIRAGA / Yasuo SUMI / Shozo SHIMAMOTO/a> / Atsuko TANAKA / Tsuyoshi MAEKAWA / Takesada MATSUTANI / Yuko NASAKA / Shuji MUKAI / Yutaka MATSUDA