Body and Matter

The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Satoru Hoshino
New York
January 29 – April 4, 2015

Body and Matter: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Satoru Hoshino is curated by Koichi Kawasaki, former director of Ashiya City Museum of Art and History in Japan. This exhibition places a group of 23 important abstract paintings made over the course of the fifty-year career of legendary Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, in dialogue with a series of nine works from the 1990s by Satoru Hoshino, a prominent member of the avant-garde postwar Japanese ceramics group Sodeisha, the “Crawling through Mud Association,” founded by Kazuo Yagi (1918-1979) in Kyoto. Body and Matter invites new insights into Shiraga’s extraordinary oeuvre through juxtaposition with the art of another Japanese master of a parallel universe: clay. Although they were near contemporaries in Japan, Shiraga (1924-2008) and Hoshino (b. 1945) never met. The exhibition at Dominique Lévy marks the first time their work will be shown in juxtaposition, tracing the thread of the informe—the “formless”—in the radical and poetic work of two great postwar Japanese figures who exploited different mediums and created fresh art-historical dialogue through their innovative approaches to matter and individuation.


On view through April 4, the exhibition coincides with Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga, co-curated by Koichi Kawasaki with Gabriel Ritter, at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) in Dallas, Texas. Also devoted to advancing exploration into the contributions of Shiraga, Kawasaki’s DMA show is the first to pair his art side-by-side with that of fellow Gutai artist Motonaga.


Body and Matter is accompanied by a fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue, Body and Matter: Kazuo Shiraga | Satoru Hoshino, featuring poetic writings by both artists as well as original essays by curator Koichi Kawasaki and noted art historian John Rajchman. 


Dominique Lévy, in collaboration with Axel Vervoordt Gallery, is pleased to simultaneously publish the first definitive English-language monograph on Shiraga's work, Kazuo Shiraga. The publication offers leading research and scholarship on the work of Shiraga through several newly commissioned essays by Koichi Kawasaki, John Rajchman, Ming Tiampo, and Reiko Tomii. Also included is previously unpublished archival material pertaining to Shiraga's career and selected writings by Shiraga in English translation. 


Dominique Lévy gallery will present a parallel program of events in New York during the course of the exhibition, including a panel discussion with Koichi Kawasaki, Alexandra Munroe, Ming Tiampo, and Reiko Tomii, moderated by David Raskin, on February 12, 2015.






Koichi Kawasaki

Independent art historian and curator
Curator of Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga

Ming Tiampo

Associate Professor of Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Author of Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Co-curator of Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2013)


Reiko Tomii

Independent art historian and curator
Publications include Kazuo Shiraga: Six Decades (2009) and contributions to
Yanagi Yukinori: Inujima Note (2010) and Xu Bing (Albion Editions, 2011)
Co-founder of PoNJA-GenKon (Post-1945 Japanese Art Discussion Group / Gendai Bijutsu Kondankai)


Alexandra Munroe

Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Co-curator of Gutai: Splendid Playground (2013); Curator of Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity (2011), The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 (2009), and Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe (2008)
Author of Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky (1994)

David Raskin
Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago






LEFT: Kazuo Shiraga, Untitled, 1962. Oil on canvas, 35 13/16 × 45 11/16 inches (91 × 116 cm).

Courtesy Amagasaki Cultural Center

RIGHT: Satoru Hoshino, Surfacing Bird (Flight of W), 1991. Smoked earthenware,

21 5/8 × 30 3/4 × 6 11/16 inches (55 × 81 × 17 cm). © Satoru Hoshino