For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2010

Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experiments in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950-1970

March 27 through June 6, 2010

Art, Anti-Art, Non-Arthighlights a dynamic phase of avant-garde art in postwar Japan characterized by self-reflection and multimedia experimentation. From 1950 to 1970, numerous artistic groups emerged, notably Gutai Art Association, Group Ongaku, Fluxus/Tokyo Fluxus, Neo Dada, Hi Red Center, Vivo, Provoke, Intermedia, and Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T).

Artists associated with these innovative groups tested the definition and practice of art by producing objects and ephemera that combined a variety of traditional and new media, including sound improvisation, language, performance, photography, video, and an expanded notion of sculpture. The artists collaborated beyond the boundaries of collectives, artistic genres, and conventional exhibition spaces, often presenting their work in the streets, temporary theaters and other public spheres. In addition, the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and the Japan World Exposition in 1970 contributed to the emergence of Japan as a center of international contemporary culture and the arts.

This exhibition has been organized by the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. The exhibition and related programs are made possible in part by the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies and the Department of the History of Art.




Jon Shiruba (John Silver)

Yokoo Tadanori (b.1936) (Book jacket design)
Kara Juro, Jon Shiruba (John Silver) (Tokyo, 1969)
Photomechanical print
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2623-309)
© Yokoo Tadanori



Electric Dress (Denki-fuku), April 1957

Tanaka Atsuko (1932–2005)
Electric Dress (Denki-fuku), April 1957
Gelatin silver print
18 x 13 cm.
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (980063)
© Ryoji Ito and the former members of the Gutai Art Association. Courtesy: Ashiya City Museumof Art & History

Challenging Mud (Doro ni idomu), 1955

Shiraga Kazuo (b.1924)
Challenging Mud (Doro ni idomu), 1955
Gelatin silver print
10 x 15 cm.
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (980063)
© Kazuo Shiraga and the former members of the Gutai Art Association. Courtesy Ashiya City Museum of Art & History



 Fog Sculpture at Pepsi Pavilion

Nakaya Fujiko
Fog Sculpture at Pepsi Pavilion, Japan World Exposition, 1970
Color slide 10 x 13 cm.
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (940003)
© 1970 Fujiko Nakaya



MKamaitachi: Hosoe Eiko shashinshu

Hosoe Eikoh (b.1933)
Hijikata Tatsumi holding an infant and running across a rice field, 1965
From: Kamaitachi: Hosoe Eiko shashinshu (Sickle-toothed weasel: Photobook by Hosoe Eikoh) (Tokyo, 1969)
37 x 56 cm.
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2639-354)
© Eikoh Hosoe