Shozo Shimamoto (Japanese, 1928-2013) Nihon Television 08 2006

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Lot 38W
Shozo Shimamoto
(Japanese, 1928-2013)
Nihon Television 08
2006

Sold for £ 72,100 (US$ 89,511) inc. premium
Shozo Shimamoto (Japanese, 1928-2013)
Nihon Television 08
2006

signed; inscribed Osaka 210 x 136 on the reverse
acrylic and glass on linen

200 by 130 cm.
78 3/4 by 51 3/16 in.

This work was executed in 2006.

Footnotes

  • This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

    This work is registered in the archive of the Shozo Shimamoto Association, Nishinomiya-Reggio Emilia-Naples, under no. 54, and is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity.

    Provenance
    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2006



    Nihon Television 08 was executed by Shozo Shimamoto in an unconventional manner. Rather than using a brush or paint direct from a can to achieve the vast swathes of pure colour, Shimamoto instead filled glass bottles with paint and proceeded to smash them on a sheet of linen placed on the floor. Indeed upon closer inspection one can see shards of glass held in place by the paint, acting as physical clues to this idiosyncratic process.

    Shimamoto was the co-founder of the now venerated Gutai Group (具体) - a Japanese Post-War collective, which arose in the early 50s as a response to the Abstract Expressionist aesthetic which had made its way over from the West. Gutai artists revered this movement, yet at the same time they strived to challenge and exceed its achievements. As such, the Gutai ethos can be broken down into three distinct and intrinsic components: to create something that has never existed before, to challenge the conventional notion of painting, and to reject the use of the paint brush.

    The present lot, therefore, is the physical manifestation of these ideals. Shimamoto's rejection of the brush in favour of the bottle, is not only an iconoclastic act, but also one that affects the painting's form. As the bottles smash, paint sprays out instantaneously; what is left is dictated by chance and accident - redolent of Dada strategies. The final product is pure colour but in a state of suspended animation – the present lot would have been executed in a matter of seconds, and this creates a sumptuous picture surface with a level of complexity which could have never have been achieved through conventional means.

    Interestingly, Nihon Television 08 was originally part of a televised performance. Shimamoto laid out his numerous sheets of linen on the floor and proceeded to smash bottles on them, and the performance was recorded and then broadcast in Japan on the 27th December 2006 as part of a 4 and a half hour long evening programme entitled Waratte Koraete.
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