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Decentering Modernism

Publication supported by the Bevington Fund

Gutai is the first book in English to examine Japan’s best-known modern art movement, a circle of postwar artists whose avant-garde paintings, performances, and installations foreshadowed many key developments in American and European experimental art.

Working with previously unpublished photographs and archival resources, Ming Tiampo considers Gutai’s pioneering transnational practice, spurred on by mid-century developments in mass media and travel that made the movement’s field of reception and influence global in scope. Using these lines of transmission to claim a place for Gutai among modernist art practices while tracing the impact of Japan on art in Europe and America, Tiampo demonstrates the fundamental transnationality of modernism. Ultimately, Tiampo offers a new conceptual model for writing a global history of art, making Gutai an important and original contribution to modern art history.

264 pages | 12 color plates, 69 halftones, 1 map | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2010

Art: Art Criticism, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Asian Studies: East Asia

History: Asian History

Media Studies

Table of Contents

Note to the Reader

1 Decentering Originality
Originality and Transnational Modernism in the Taishō Era: Yoshihara’s Formative Years
Gutai Strategies of Originality
Originality, Individualism, and Subjective Autonomy

2 The Interpoetics of Distance
Translation: Decentering Jackson Pollock
Recontextualization: Nengajō and Gutai Mail Art
Quantization: Gutai Portables

3 Lines of Flight: The Gutai Journal
Yoshihara’s Postwar Internationalism and the Gutai Journal
American Correspondences
European Correspondences

4 The Politics of Geography and Gutai Exhibitions
Tokyo/Ashiya/Osaka, 1955–1958
New York, 1958
Turin, 1959

5 International Contemporaneity and Gutai Exhibitions
Osaka, 1962
Amsterdam, 1965
Paris, 1965

6 New Directions in Gutai Exhibitions
15th Gutai Art Exhibition, 1965
Gutai Art for the Space Age, 1967
Expo ’70
Conclusion  Gutai’s Decentering Legacies

Appendix 1  Chronology
Appendix 2  Gutai Membership
Appendix 3  Yoshihara Jirō’s Magazine Collections



Dedalus Foundation: Robert Motherwell Book Award
Honorable Mention

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