Avant-garde Shock
Exhibition of Shozo Shimamoto and AU(Art Unidentified)
Sep. 14 (Thu.) to 27 (Wed.)

"Art Means Surprising People"

Shozo Shimamoto (1928-2013) was a founding member of the Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Art Association of Gutai) and was active on the world stage as an avant-garde artist.
Known for his large-scale performance-driven creative activity, Shimamoto is widely appreciated in the west for his unprecedented means of expression. His unique approach is exemplified in works such as the "cannon paintings," which were created by using gas to shoot pigment out of metal piping and also by the "bottle-throwing paintings," which involved throwing pigment filled bottles from a high location.
In 1998, Shimamoto was chosen as one of the world's four best artists from the post-war era together with Jackson Pollock, John Cage, and Lucio Fontana. Works from all four artists were displayed at the exhibition "Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979" organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.
As the administrative chief of the AU (formerly Artist Union; later Art Unidentified), which was found in 1976, Shimano worked tirelessly to nurture the development of young artists, while at the same time acting as the head of the Japan Art and Culture Society of Disabled-Persons (now Able Art Japan).
With an approach steeped in originality and a perspective that valued diversity and individuality, Shimamoto is still highly acclaimed by the current generation. This approach is now being carried forward by the artists of the AU.

The Tate Modern (London), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Roma, Italy), Pompidou Centre (Paris), Ca’ Pesaro (Venice, Italy), Fondazione Morra (Naples, Italy), etc.

AU(Art Unidentified )

In 1975, the AU was founded at the urging of Neo-Dada Organizers member Masunobu Yoshimura under the name Artist Union. Centered on painters, critics, and architects active in the 1960s, the diverse range of artists that made up the AU inherited the role of developing trends in postwar Japanese avant-garde art that started with "Gutai".
With the help of Shozo Shimamoto, who was appointed administrative chief in 1976, the AU successfully built an international network by publishing and distributing the AU newsletter—a method that mirrored the way in which the Gutai bulletin raised the profile of Gutai outside of Japan.
In 1980, the AU changed its name from Artist Union to Art Unidentified. Since then, the AU has attracted attention for the diverse range of activities it engages in such as mail art and performances. However, the AU also places emphasis on art created by people with disabilities, positioning itself as a group that embodies the freedom and limitless possibilities that come through artistic expression.
Even today, 42 years after its formation, the AU continues to constantly discover young artists and communicate their activities to the rest of the world.