In conjunction with the gallery’s groundbreaking survey exhibition, Gutai: 1953 – 1959, on view at Fergus McCaffrey’s New York location until June 30th, the gallery is proud to present a selection of works by key Gutai members at Booth 38 of the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) from May 4 – 8, 2018. The works on view by Sadamasa Motonaga, Fujiko Shiraga, Kazuo Shiraga, Jiro Yoshihara and Toshio Yoshida encapsulate the renowned Japanese avant-garde collective’s bold ideas, demonstrating the ways in which they forged an ethos of artistic experimentation, freedom, and individuality in the wake of the Second World War. Fergus McCaffrey’s TEFAF presentation traces Gutai’s development from its emergence in 1954 to its dissolution after founder Jiro Yoshihara’s death.
The members of Gutai were just young enough to avoid deployment in the Japanese military but were mature enough to fully understand the horrors of what had occurred. Like all members of their generation, they endured hardship and trauma, and as artists sought to reintegrate themselves into the world and express themselves by embracing what Gutai founder, Jiro Yoshihara, called “the scream of matter itself.” Using their bodies in active, direct relationship with their materials, the members of Gutai dissolved the barriers between art and life.