Georg Nothelfer

Kazuo Shiraga


Born 1924 in Amagasaki/Japan
1942-48 Studies traditional Japanese painting at the Kyōto Nihonga Municipal School of Art. 
1953 Abandons the brush, applies paint directly to the canvas with his hands
1952 Co-founder of the Zero-kai (Zero Society)
1955-72 Member of the avant-garde Gutai group
1986 First solo exhibition outside Japan at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris
1987 Hyogo Prefectural Cultural Prize for Excellence
1988 First solo exhibition at Galerie Georg Nothelfer 
1989 Georg Nothelfer visits Shiraga in Amagasaki/Japan
1999 Distinguished Service Medal for Culture 
2002 Osaka Art Prize
Died 2008 in Amagasaki/Japan

Kazuo Shiraga is one of the most important representatives of Japanese post-war abstract expressionism. Parallel to European-American art, he developed an independent form of expressive painting. He applied thick clusters of paint to a large-format canvas lying on the floor and slid over the painting support with the help of ropes hanging over it. With his unusual painting technique, Shiraga sought an artistic form of expression that simultaneously realised controlled bodily actions and random colour gradients. This unique application technique produced particularly strongly structured layers of paint, abstract swirls and splashes of colour. Throughout his career, he explored the relationship between body and colour.



  • O.T./Untitled, 1992, Serigraphy, signed recto lower right, 100 × 70 cm, Copies: 50



  • Ausstellungskatalog/Exhibition Catalogue, 1992, Edited by Manfred de la Motte/Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Texts by Alan Kaprow, Manfred de la Motte, Tadao Ogura, Antonio Saura, Irmtraud Schaarschmidt-Richter, Kazuo Shiraga, Michel Tapié, Jérome, Turot, german/english/french/japanese, 120 pages, 88 ill., 46 colour ill., Edition Galerie Georg Nothelfer, ISBN 3-87329-892-9, EUR 50