WHAM! POW! VROOOM! SHINOHARA 2009
OPENING RECEPTION: October 22nd, 6:30 - 8pm
This exhibit will feature Ushio Shinohara’s newest Boxing Paintings and, for the first time in New York, exhibit his monumental "Motorcycle Sculpture".
Ushio Shinohara was born in Tokyo in 1932, just when Japan was about to enter an age of great change. This was a time when many of the youth were questioning the accepted cultural norms, many young artists were questioning the artistic norms. In 1957, Shinohara organized the “Neo Dadaism Organizers” group, one of the most radical avant-garde collectives in postwar Japan.
In1960, Shinohara was visited in his Tokyo studio by two young reporters. One from the Mainichi Newspaper and the other, the future Nobel laureate for Literature, Oe Kenzaburo. Having no works to show, Shinohara borrowed money from the two reporters for paper and ink. It was here, sporting a Mohawk and stripped to the waist, that Ushio first experimented in pounding paper hung on a wall with ink-soaked cloth tied around his hands. With this new form of action painting, Shinohara was challenging the Gutai artist Shiraga’s “feet-painting” of the 1950’s. Ushio felt that this “Boxing Painting” was “purest kind of art”. Soon, William Klein featured the creation of Shinohara’s boxing work in his 1961 documentary “Tokyo”. The National Museum of Art, Osaka in 1991 featured these earliest “Boxing Paintings in “Japanese Anti-Art: Now and Then”. In this last decade, Ushio Shinohara’s “Boxing Paintings” have become an area of great interest by museum and academic institutions, as well as private and corporate collectors.
Ushio Shinohara is in the permanent collection of many notable museums including: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Nagaoka; Toyota City Museum; National Museum of Art, Osaka; and the Yokohaka Museum to name just a few. His work has even been in the personal collections of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
Ushio has been invited to perform his action-painting in such places as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The Museum of Modern Art in Kanagawa, Japan; the “Et l’Art Se Met Au Monde Prologue Pour La Biennale” at the Institut d’art contemporain frac Rhone-Aipes / Nouveau Musee, Villeurbanne; the Getty Museum in LA; and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts “Action Painting Battle” exhibition in 2006. Ushio has been features in the seminal 1994 Guggenheim exhibition and publication “Scream Against the Sky”, recently had a featured exhibition in the Toyota Museum in 2008, and was included in the Seattle Art Museum’s 2009 “Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949-78”.
After coming to New York in 1971 on a J. D. Rockefeller III grant, Ushio Shinohara may be the first artist to set up permanent shop in DUMBO, what is now considered one of New York’s most vibrant artist community.