Important Retrospective

Dallas Museum of Art secures major exhibit of influential Japanese artists

Dallas Museum of Art secures exhibit of influential Japanese artists

Dallas Museum of Art presents Sadamasa Motonaga
Sadamasa Motonaga, Work, 1962, oil paint and synthetic resin on canvas. Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Yamamura Collection). © Estate of Sadamasa Motonaga. Photo courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art presents Kazuo Shiraga
Kazuo Shiraga, Tenshosei Botsuusen, 1960, oil on canvas. The Rachofsky Collection. Photo courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art presents Sadamasa Motonaga
Dallas Museum of Art presents Kazuo Shiraga

The Dallas Museum of Art will give a nod to its counterpart across Harwood Street, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, by presenting the first major exhibition of Japanese painters Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga.

"Shiraga/Motonaga: Between Action and the Unknown," which will be on display February 8-July 19, 2015, will be a retrospective of both artists' long careers. The two were born within a couple years of each other in the 1920s, and both were members of the Gutai Art Association, an avant-garde group of postwar Japanese artists, for 18 years.

The exhibit will be drawn from collections across Japan, showcasing close to 60 paintings, drawings, photographs, films, small-scale sculpture, Gutai-related ephemera and re-creations of outdoor installations, many of which have never been exhibited in the United States.

Both artists were known for their unusual techniques: Shiraga often used his feet to paint, while Motonaga utilized water and smoke in many of his works.

Gabriel Ritter, who is co-curating the exhibit alongside Koichi Kawasaki, the former chief curator of Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, says the exhibit will be a chance to give the two artists their due.

"While Gutai has been well-studied as a collective, Shiraga and Motonaga are only now being fully recognized as influential artists in their own right," Ritter says. "The exhibition explores the breadth of their combined oeuvres, shedding light on their substantial careers and distinct characters."