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Confidential Evaluation of Your Shozo Shimamoto

Shozo Shimamoto

Shozo Shimamoto lived from 1928 to 2013. Shimamoto is one of the most important Japanese artists of the post war period. Along with Jiro Yoshihara, he founded the avant-garde artist group Gutai in 1954, one of the influential artists’ movements after 1945. In 1955, the Gutai-group made contact with the German group ZERO.

In 1956, Shimamoto fired colour-filled bags with a canon onto a canvas for the very first time. He also threw colour-filled bottles against a stone lying in the center of a large canvas. ‘Bottle crash’ was a performance he repeated several times in his artistic career.

The first exhibition of the Gutai-group took place in New York in 1958. Shimamoto combined painting, music and performance. He paved the way for the Fluxus movement and inspired artists such as Allan Kaprow and Nam June Paik. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of ‘Mail Art’.

During his travels through Eastern and Western Europe in 1986, Shimamoto invited other artists to draw, write, or place objects on his shaved head. Ten years later he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his pacifist engagement.

Biography from the Archives of AskART.