Gutai-jin in Karuizawa ~Standard of Avant-garde~


2016.02.07 - 2016.04.21
Karuizawa New Art Museum
Exhibition Room (2nd Floor)
Open Hours
November - March 10:00 – 16:30
April - June / October 10:00-17:00
July - September 10:00 - 18:00

* Enter by 30 minutes before close
Every Tuesday (If Tuesday is a Holiday, following day as Holiday. No Holidays in August)
General admission: ¥1000 (TBD),
Visitors over the age of 65, high school and university students: ¥800 (TBD),
Primary and secondary students: ¥500 (TBD)
* ¥200 discount from above fees for groups over 20 people
* Preschool children, Disabled : Free, discount for an attendant (half of above fees)
Contact Information
Karuizawa New Art Museum
Tel. 0267-46-8691
Exhibition Section

About the Exhibition

Karuizawa New Art Museum has been presenting “Gutai-jin in Karuizawa” for a year. This series presents Gutai-jin artists in form of solo exhibition, who were a member of avant-garde artists’ group “Gutai Art Association” from 1954 to 1972. They had been performing their arts in forefront of contemporary art and their activities were still lived after the dissolution of the group as well. We call here the Gutai artists "Gutai-jin" or "Gutai people" , emphasizing their lifelong career and focusing on each artist's solo activity as an avant-garde artist. Our new exhibition, which is the final series, presents Gutai-jin and other avant-garde artists who lived in the same era of Gutai-jin artists.
Around 1960s, avant-garde art was developed around the world such as Paris, New York and Japan at the same time. In Japan, Gutai Art Association was organized at Kansai region (West side of Japan) in 1954 with a key person, Jiro Yoshihara. He had been leading young members with his favorite phrases "Don't copy anyone! Do something no one's ever done before!"
In Paris, Michel Tapié proposed a term “Art Informel" and also he visited to Japan with Japanese Art Informel artists, Toshimitsu Imai and Hisao Domoto who active in Paris. Their visiting influenced Gutai-jin and developed its activity internationally.
At that time in Tokyo, numerous groups of avant-garde artists were organized. In 1960, Neo-Dada Organizers was formed by Ushio Shinohara and High Red Center was formed by Jiro Takamatsu, Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi in 1963. From the end of 1960s to the beginning of 1970s, Mono-ha (is usually translated in literal manner as “School of Things”) was appeared including Kishio Suga. Yukihisa Isobe who became a member of Demokura-to Artists Association(デモクラート美術家協会), discovered his own ideas and skill for abstract and pop art. Tadaaki Kuwayama moved to U.S. in 1963 and challenged to abstract painting in New York during 1960s and 1970s.
Kazumi Nakamura was born in avant-garde era, and he aimed to discover new style of art which could surpass American abstract expressionism including Jackson Pollock.
Avant-garde was a shocking experience for Japan after the war, and it is enough to say that it inscribes and leaves a deep impression on consciousness of our generation. We present contemporary artists and their art works from our collections, which evoke the memories of avant-garde.

〔On Display〕

Gutai Art Association :
Jiro Yoshihara, Chiyu Uemae, Shozo Shimamoto, Michio Yoshihara, Masatoshi Masanobu, Tsuruko Yamazaki, Ukita Yozo, Yasuo Sumi, Kazuo Shiraga, Sadamasa Motonaga, Shuji Mukai, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Takesada Matsutani, Nasaka Yuko, Senkichiro Nasaka, Minoru Yoshida, Aine Kinashi, Ryuji Tanaka, Minoru Onoda, Norio Imai, Sadaharu Horio, Motonao Takasaki, Yutaka Matsuda

High Red Center :
Jiro Takamatsu, Natsuyuki Nakanishi

Neo-Dada Organizers :
Ushio Shinohara

Art Informel :
Georges Mathieu, Hisao Domoto, Toshimitsu Imai

Others :
Tadaaki Kuwayama, Yukihisa Isobe, Kishio Suga, Kazumi Nakamura

Caption of the main image : Tsuyoshi Maekawa 《Untitled》 1987-2013, 2015/181.8×227.2cm/
Oil and jute on canvas
Caption of the eye-catch image : Detail of the same as above


General Incorporated Foundation Karuizawa New Art Museum


Shigenobu Kimura, Nobuyuki Senzoku, Kunio Motoe


Nagano Prefectural Board of Education,
The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun,
JOMO Shimbun,
SHIN-ETSU Broadcasting Co., LTD,
Nagano Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
TV. Shinshu Broadcasting Co. LTD.,
Asahi Broadcasting Nagano Co., Ltd.
Karuizawa, the Paper (ADAID, Inc.),
FM Karuizawa
Promotional Council for Karuizawa, International City of Arts and Culture
New Wave Gutai-jin Council