McCaffrey Fine Art is proud to inaugurate our new gallery at 23 East 67th Street with the first ever solo exhibition of Kazuo Shiraga in the United States. Kazuo Shiraga: Six Decades opens on October 8 with a reception from 6:00 – 8:00 pm and continues through January 23, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Born in Amagasaki, Japan in 1924, Shiraga co-founded the Zero Society (Zero-kai) with Saburo Murakami and Akira Kanayama in 1952. In 1955 he joined the legendary collective Gutai (Gutai Art
Association) and made a series of revolutionary works that art historian Reiko Tomii calls “performance paintings,” including Challenging Mud, 1955 (in which he wrestled with several tons of mud) and Red Logs, 1955 (a structure made of wood logs that Shiraga hacked into with an axe). His distinct and inimitable style of foot painting emerged the year prior, in 1954. Aware of Jackson Pollock since 1951, Shiraga—like his contemporaries Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Yves Klein—sought to create work that moved beyond the vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism. He succeeded in creating paintings of great innovation with his unique style that involved sliding, spinning, and swirling his feet in mounds of oil paint on large sheets of paper laid on the floor. By the time of his 1957 “performance painting” on stage, Sanbaso-Super Modern, Shiraga was amongst the most avant-garde artists working anywhere and his work was drawing international attention.