Remake of Saburo Murakami, Entrance (Iriguchi) (1955). Exhibition view: Gutai: 1953–1959, Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, New York (25 April–30 June 2018). Courtesy Fergus McCaffrey, New York. Photo: Christopher Burke.
In the 1950s, the artists of the newly formed Gutai group of Japan worked fast and fearlessly, changing styles and mediums at will, staying abreast of the latest postwar developments abroad. The mood of this band of innovators was eclectic — and electric — as demonstrated by "Gutai: 1953-1959," an ambitious show at Fergus McCaffrey gallery. Across some 70 works we see 11 of the artists who formed the group's early reputation, ranging easily among abstract painting and sculpture, installation, environments and performance.