Published in conjunction with the first United States museum retrospective ever devoted to Gutai, exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Gutai: Splendid Playground surveys the influential collective and artistic movement. This exhibition catalogue aims to demonstrate the range of bold and innovative creativity present in the avant-garde movement, to examine the aesthetic strategies in the cultural, social, and political context of postwar Japan and the West, and to further establish Gutai in an expanded, transnational history and critical discourse of modern art. Organized thematically and chronologically to explore Gutais unique approach to materials, process and performativity, this publication investigates the groups radical experimentation across a range of media and styles, and demonstrates how individual artists pushed the limits of what art could be or mean in a post-atomic era. The range includes painting (gestural abstraction and post-constructivist abstraction), conceptual art, experimental performance and film, indoor and outdoor installation art, sound art, mail art, interactive or playful art, light art and kinetic art. Illustrating both iconic Gutai and lesser-known works, this catalogue presents a rich survey reflecting new scholarship, especially on so-called late Gutai works dating from 1965 to 1972.
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