GUTAI: SPLENDID PLAYGROUND to Open 2/15 at the Guggenheim Museum

During the group's lifetime, Gutai artists showed on four continents and distributed their magazine, the Gutai journal, to contacts around the world. In 1962, Yoshihara established the Gutai Pinacotheca, which became the center of the group's activities, functioning as an exhibition space and a site for international engagement. In 1958, the Gutai group was featured in their first exhibition in the United States, at the legendary Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. It was not until 1965, however, when Gutai was included in a show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam on the Nul and Zero movements that Gutai's role as a pioneer of intermedia experimental art was fully recognized. Long misunderstood abroad as a painting movement by virtue of the group's 1957-65 collaborations with French Informel critic Michel Tapié, the full spectrum and historic contexts of Gutai's highly innovative cross-genre approaches to art making within an international context have remained understudied.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 316-page catalogue with essays by Alexandra Munroe and Ming Tiampo and texts by Pedro Erber, Hirai Shoichi, Kato Mizuho, Judith Rodenbeck, Reiko Tomii, and Midori Yoshimoto. The book is designed by Miko McGinty, Inc.

For complete information about the range of public programs presented in conjunction with Gutai: Splendid Playground, visit Highlights include:

Guided Tours
Free with museum admission

Curator's Eye
Mar 1, 2 pm: led by exhibition co-curator Alexandra Munroe
Mar 15, 2 pm: led by exhibition co-curator Ming Tiampo
Apr 19, 2 pm: led by curatorial fellow Lyn Hsieh

Conservator's Eye
March 8, 2 pm: led by conservator Corey D'Augustine

Public Programs
SANBASO, divine dance
Mansai Nomura + Hiroshi Sugimoto
Thurs, Mar 28, 2 and 8 pm
Fri, Mar 29, 8 pm
Renowned Kyogen actor Mansai Nomura performs Japan's oldest celebratory dance on a stage designed by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto in the museum's iconic rotunda. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground, Sanbaso is a tribute to the performance Ultramodern Sanbaso (1957) by Shiraga Kazuo, one of the leading figures of Japan's avant-garde Gutai movement. Co-presented with Japan Society.

$50, $45 Guggenheim and Japan Society members, $25 students for seated tickets. $30, $25 Guggenheim and Japan Society members, $15 students for standing tickets.

Concrete Escort I, II, III, IV
Fris, Mar 22 and Apr 26, 6 pm and 8 pm
New York-based Japanese performance artist Ei Arakawa invites painters, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, and archivists to form a temporal group addressing Gutai today. Resulting in a performative exhibition tour of Gutai: Splendid Playground where the audience will be escorted and repositioned, emphasis will be on the power dynamic within Gutai, women and men, singularity and plurality, and performance and painting. Tasked to communicate the diversity of Gutai activities, each tour takes a different route through the exhibition.

$20, $15 members, $10 students for 6 pm performances. $25, $20 members for 8 pm performances, which includes a reception.

Gutai as Science Fiction
Tues, Mar 12, 4 pm
Bringing together scholars from diverse fields and experts in art and technology, this program, presented in conjunction with Gutai: Splendid Playground, will present new research on Gutai's second phase (1962-72) in an international context. Speakers and panelists include exhibition organizers Ming Tiampo and Alexandra Munroe, independent scholar Reiko Tomii, artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, artist Otto Piene, and Artforum editor Michelle Kuo.

$15, $10 members, free for students with RSVP.

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The global network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin (1997-2013), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently under development). Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum. More information about the foundation can be found at

Admission: Adults $22, students/seniors (65+) $18, members and children under 12 free. Admission includes an audio tour of the current exhibitions in English, in addition to an audio tour presenting highlights from the Guggenheim's Permanent Collection and information about the building, available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Museum Hours: Sun-Wed, 10 am-5:45 pm; Fri, 10 am-5:45 pm; Sat, 10 am-7:45 pm; closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish. For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at