Exploring the intimacy of self, primal beauty and the origins of space & time.


The art movement known as Gutai both preceded and influenced Abstract Expressionism, Fluxus, and Arte Povera. Its credo was to make “art that has never existed before”.

Gutai art does not change the material but brings it to life. Gutai art does not falsify the material. In Gutai art the human spirit and the the material reach out their hands to each other, even though they are otherwise opposed to each other. The material is not absorbed by the spirit. The spirit does not force the material into submission. If one leaves the material as it is, presenting it just as material, then it starts to tell us something and speaks with a mighty voice.

Keeping the life of the material alive also means bringing the spirit alive, and lifting up the spirit means leading the material up to the height of the spirit. Art is the home of the creative spirit, but never until now has the spirit created the material.

The spirit has only ever created the spiritual. Certainly the spirit has always filled art with life, but this life will finally die as the times change. For all the magnificent life which existed in the art of the Renaissance, little more than its archaeological existence can be seen today.

Proclaimed in October 1956, published in December 1956 in the art journal «Geijutsu Shincho» by Jiro YOSHIHARA.

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