The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) presents the first West Coast survey exhibition of Gutai (1954-1972)—a significant avant-garde artist collective in postwar Japan whose overriding directive was: "Do something no one's ever done before." Rejecting the figurative and abstract art of the era, and in an effort to transform the Japanese psyche from wartime regimentation to independence of thought, Gutai artists fulfilled their commitment to innovative practices by producing art through concrete, performative actions.
With a diverse assembly of historical and contemporary art, including several site-specific performances commissioned exclusively for SFAI, "Experimental Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Mid-Winter Burning Sun: Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response" creates a dialogue with classic Gutai works while demonstrating the lasting significance and radical energy of this movement. This exhibition was curated by John Held Jr. and Andrew McClintock and showcases North American, neo-conceptualist artists' responses to groundbreaking Gutai performances; dozens of original paintings, video, photographs, and ephemera from private collections; and an expansive collection of Mail Art from more than 30 countries.
Join SFAI at the opening reception for "Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response" on Friday, February 8 from 6 pm to 9 pm. Please check the website for information about additional events associated with this exhibition.