|The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Gutai: Splendid Playground, a retrospective of the Gutai Art Association (1954–72), the influential Japanese art collective whose innovative and playful approaches to installation and performance yielded one of the most important international avant-garde movements to emerge after World War II. Based on fifteen years of research, Gutai: Splendid Playground provides a critical examination of both iconic and lesser-known examples of the collective's dynamic output over its two-decade history and explores the full spectrum of Gutai’s creative production: painting, performance, installation art, sound art, experimental film, kinetic art, light art, and environment art. Gutai: Splendid Playground is the first North American museum exhibition devoted to the Gutai group and offers a comprehensive interpretation of the convention-defying movement.
Comprising approximately 145 works by 25 artists and spanning two generations of Gutai artists, Gutai: Spendid Playground is organized into six chronological and thematic sections presented along the Guggenheim ramps:
Play: An Uninhibited Act
Concept: Can a Piece of Cloth Be a Work of Art?
Network: To Introduce Our Works to the World
The Concrete: The Scream of Matter Itself
Performance Painting: Pictures with Time and Space
Environment: Gutai Art for the Space Age
The exhibition also includes documentary films of the group’s historic outdoor exhibitions and stage events and offers a focus on their eponymous journal as a platform for international artistic exchange. A centerpiece of Gutai: Splendid Playground is a site-specific commission of Work (Water) (1956/2011) by the late Motonaga Sadamasa. Prior to his death in 2011, Motonaga reimagined his iconic early Gutai outdoor installation, made of plastic tubes filled with colored water, for the Guggenheim rotunda.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Website