Gutai:A Splendid Playground is a perfect name for Japan’s most influential avant-garde collective on show at the Guggenheim Museum. Founded in Japan in 1954, the Gutai group was legendary for its young artists exploration of new art forms including painting, performance and experimental art.
When you arrive at the museum and look up you are greeted by what appears to be large pockets of colored water floating above you in the Guggenheim’s famous rotunda. Originally created in 1955 and held in a pine grove park in Ashiya, Japan, these kinds of art events brought art outside. Work/Water by Motonga Sadamasa was recreated by the artist for this exhibition.
The Gutai Art Association (1954–72) spanned two generations, with 59 Japanese artists over its 18-year history. Gutai artists sought to break down the barriers between art, the ordinary public, and everyday life, and continuously took on new artistic challenges using the body in direct action with materials, time and space, and nature and technology.Gutai: A Splendid Playground. The Guggenheim Museum. 1071 5th Avenue. New York. 15th February – May 8th 2013