SFAI Gutai Exhibition: Dr. Shoichi Hirai Lecture

San Francisco, CA

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About the Lecture
A noted authority on Gutai and the curator behind Tokyo's first major retrospective of the movement, Dr. Hirai discusses the artists' activities chronologically and their significance in history, exploring how Gutai opened a new phase in art through experimental methods. 

Dr. Hirai is Curator at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and former curator at The National Art Center, Tokyo, where he organized the 2012 exhibition GUTAI: The Spirit of an Era.

About the Exhibition
Experimental Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Mid-Winter Burning Sun: Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response
Curated by John Held, Jr. and Andrew McClintock

February 8–March 30, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 6:00–9:00 pm

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) presents the first West Coast survey exhibition of Gutai (1954-1972)—a significant avant-garde artist collective in postwar Japan whose overriding directive was: "Do something no one's ever done before." Rejecting the figurative and abstract art of the era, and in an effort to transform the Japanese psyche from wartime regimentation to independence of thought, Gutai artists fulfilled their commitment to innovative practices by producing art through concrete, performative actions. With a diverse assembly of historical and contemporary art, including several site-specific performances commissioned exclusively for SFAI, Experimental Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Mid-Winter Burning Sun: Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response creates a dialogue with classic Gutai works while demonstrating the lasting significance and radical energy of this movement. This exhibition showcases North American, neo-conceptualist artists' responses to groundbreaking Gutai performances; dozens of original paintings, video, photographs, and ephemera from private collections; and an expansive collection of Mail Art from more than 30 countries.


About the Walter and McBean Galleries
The Walter and McBean Galleries on SFAI's 800 Chestnut Street campus house exhibitions, workshops, and other alternative and experimental avenues for presenting work by international contemporary artists. All SFAI's public programs and exhibitions are FREE and open to the public. They are supported, in part, by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Hours: Tuesdays 11 am–7 pm
Wednesday–Saturday 11 am–6 pm
Open until 7:30 pm on evenings with lectures

All SFAI exhibitions and associated events are FREE and open to the public. For a complete schedule of SFAI's public programs, please visit www.sfai.edu/events