Learn About Kazuo Shiraga Post-Gutai, 1971–2008

Shiraga found renewed purpose after studying Tendai Buddhism.


Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present “Kazuo Shiraga: Post Gutai,” the final video in a series of three about the artist’s life and work.

The final installment discusses the period between 1971 and 2008, when Shiraga found a renewed expressive power to paint again. He had ceased painting entirely in 1971 and begun the intensive study of Tendai Buddhism as a lay monk. It is unclear whether this study of esoteric Buddhism was driven by personal necessity or a desire to find fresh artistic inspiration; nonetheless, upon the completion of his training and after a bit of “loosening up,” Shiraga began to use more pigment and a wider range of colors.

In 1972, Jiro Yoshihara died, leading to the disbandment of the legendary Gutai group, which he co-founded. But at the same time Shiraga found a new moment of great energy and force in his work. “Kazuo Shiraga: Post Gutai” visualizes how these later paintings tend to be compositionally more dynamic, and details the highly unconventional process in which the artist applied the paint, often with the help of his wife and fellow artist Fujiko Shiraga.

Currently on view at Fergus McCaffrey’s New York gallery is “Kazuo & Fujiko Shiraga,” the first-ever joint exhibition of Kazuo Shiraga and Fujiko, who died this year.

“Kazuo & Fujiko Shiraga” is on view at Fergus McCaffrey, 514 W. 26th Street, through June 20, 2015.

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