"Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s"

Kress Gallery


  • Ongoing: until Sunday, May 18, 2008
  • Sunday: 12:00pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00am
  • Wednesday: 10:00am
  • Thursday: 10:00am
  • Friday: 10:00am
  • Saturday: 10:00am
  • Where: Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • Age limit: All ages

Beginning Saturday, March 1 and continuing through May 18, the Spencer Museum of Art presents Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s, an exhibition featuring nearly 50 paintings and works on paper by Japanese artists who, coming from one of the world's most tradition-bound cultures, boldly tested and often trampled the conventional boundaries of artistic expression.Resounding Spirit traces the pioneering use of abstract art by Japanese artists from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, a period characterized by innovation and a growing awareness of international currents in the art world. Abstract painting-one of the most significant artistic movements of the 20th century-was a worldwide phenomenon. Following the end of the U.S. occupation of Japanin 1952, Japanese artists once again became avid participants in avant-garde movements around the world, oftentimes creating uniquely Japanese manifestations. Groups of young artists such as Gutai (Japanese for "embodiment") not only flouted previously held notions of art, but transgressed conventional ideas of practice. For instance, the Gutai artist Shiraga Kazuo completely abandoned the brush, producing painting using only his bare hands and feet. Ideas closely associated with abstract expressionism practiced by New York artists like de Kooning and Pollock inspired a rethinking of traditional calligraphy which engendered the gestural, illegible paintings known as "abstracted calligraphy."This exhibition features more than 50 paintings and works on paper by Japanese artists, including internationally respected members of Gutai; New-York based artists such as Kenzo Okada, known for his subdued tones and drifting forms; and representative artwork from other well-known international movements such as Art informel, Fluxus, Op, and Pop art. To complement the exhibition, the Spencer will install in its Asia Gallery a variety of postwar Japanese prints and ceramics, and the Central Court will feature Western art selections from the controversial 1960s, all drawn from the Spencer's collection. To complement the Resounding Spirit exhibition, the Spencer has organized two exhibitions drawn from its own collection. Make a Mark: Art of the 1960s, installed in the Central Court, features American and European artists from the same period as Resounding Spirit. A companion exhibition, Japan Re-Imagined/Post-war Art, installed in the Asia Gallery, employs a variety of post-war Japanese prints and ceramics to examine how Japanese artists after World War II re-thought their nation's history, tradition, and society as both a means of self-critique and cultural regeneration.

This event was posted Dec. 4, 2007 and last updated Sept. 16, 2014


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