The astonishment of colour

by | 18 Jan, 2021

“Probably I’m pretty far from the idea of artist we have in general. The fact of wanting to live an experience born by chance goes even further than the simple seeking of liberty, it’s a reality fixed in my heart. I am looking for the truth”

Shozo Shimamoto

Shimamoto’s idea is to bring paint back to the material dimension, to the physicality of a chromatic element no longer perceived as a representational vehicle. The result of his technique (the ‘bottle crash’) is a true chromatic explosion. His bottle crash actions of the last decade have an unusual configuration in terms of both the relationship between event and work, and the emotional dimension connected to the action. In fact, these are representative and spectacular moments, real social acts, which include the production of paintings as their outcome. The result is generated by chance, but the gesture and its spectacularity are carefully calibrated.

Shozo Shimamoto was born in Osaka in 1928. After attending the University of Kwansei Gakuin, he became famous as the founder of the Gutai movement in the 1950s, distinguishing himself with an action-based pictorial style, offering an Oriental response to Pollock’s Abstract Expressionism and Allan Kaprow’s Happenings. His works are featured in important exhibitions and museum collections worldwide.

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, Shimamoto died in Osaka in 2013 at the age of 85.

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Text Valeria Ceregini, The astonishment of colour in Shozo Shimamoto. Cardi Gallery, 2020.
Archive video and material Andrea Mardegan.
Production Collateral Films.
Video courtesy Cardi Gallery, London – Milan.

Ph credit and courtesy Cardi Gallery, London – Milan and Pari&Dispari.