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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Gallery Kuranuki, Osaka
    Private Collection
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Exhilarating is a mature example from Kazuo Shiraga’s most methodologically-developed post-Gutai period, and features the artist’s iconic foot-painting technique. This manner of painting rapidly set the artist apart from his peers in Gutai, earning him a dedicated feature in Life magazine in 1956, in which Shiraga swung from a rope suspended to the ceiling, dragging paint across a sprawling canvas with his feet. Post-Gutai works such as the present lot exude a lighter, unbridled sense of painterly execution and impasto manipulation, perhaps in part thanks to Shiraga’s training and subsequent ordainment as a Tendai Buddhist monk in the seventies—an undoubtedly spiritually liberating experience. Though created in the latter portion of Shiraga’s career and infused with a freer spirit, later works still featured signature motifs: a sanguine colour palette, hailing from some of the artist’s earliest and visceral Red Liquid, Wild Boar Hunting, and Water Margin-inspired series—the red hues of these immortalised on the cover of Gutai 4 (published 1 July 1956). These works represented the artist’s post-war fascination with the physicalisation of art-making itself, boosted all the more by the artist’s renowned axiom, “I want to paint as though rushing around a battlefield” (Kazuo Shiraga, “Omou Koto (Thoughts)”, Gutai 2 (published 10 October 1955), p.20). The title Exhilarating further echoes the rush of adrenaline and force underscoring the performance-painter’s seminal performance, Challenging Mud in 1955, in which the artist plied and pushed mud with his entire body as if it were impasto.

    Kazuo Shiraga would go on to explore the interrelationship between body and material throughout his entire oeuvre, and in particular become most well-known for his foot paintings—a hallmark of his opus which he continued into his eighties.

  • Catalogue Essay

    《爽快》為白髮一雄在後具體派時期純熟技法呈現的精湛之作,藝術家以腳揮灑油彩的經典特色,在此發揮得淋漓盡致。這種獨特的作畫方式,讓他在具體派同儕藝術家樹立出鮮明的個人風格,並在1956年「生活」雜誌中獲得專文報導。文章中白髮一雄被綁在一條從天花板懸掛下的繩子上,身軀擺動,以腳在偌大的畫布上拖曳著油彩。像本幅這樣的後具體派作品,往往散發出更輕鬆、更加肆無忌憚的繪畫感及對厚重油彩的操控度。這也許和藝術家在七十年代成為天台佛教僧侶的修行與訓練有關,因為那無疑是一種精神上的解放經驗。雖然這是他後期的作品,並融入更自由的精神,但仍深具其標誌性的主軸 — 歡愉正向的色調,呼應早期《紅色液體》、《野豬狩獵》及《水的邊際》等系列中紅色調,這些代表性的紅色也在1956年七月一日發行的「具體」第四期刊封面上被永恆記錄下來。這些作品代表了白髮一雄在戰後對藝術創作以身體力行的迷戀,也再次體現了他著名的這句話:「我想要像在戰場上奔跑一樣作畫」(白髮一雄, 「Omou Koto (思想)」,《具體 二》,1955年10月10日出版,第20頁)。《爽快》作品標題更是呼應了如腎上腺素飆升般的快感與動能,揭示了其兼具行動藝術及畫家於一身的開創性表現,正如同他在1995年《挑戰泥沼》裏,以整個身體像是推著厚重油彩般地去推動泥巴。

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signed, titled and dated '"Exhilarating" 1989 December Kazuo Shiraga [in Kanji]' on the reverse
oil on canvas
38 x 45.5 cm. (14 7/8 x 17 7/8 in.)
Painted in 1989, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Japan Art Dealers Association (JADA).

HK$1,000,000 - 2,000,000 

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Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019