Kazuo Shiraga

1924-2001

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Status, estimation and price of the artist Kazuo Shiraga

Price of a painting: 5,500- 7 600,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 950 – 100,000 €

Estimation of a print: 250 – 8,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by Kazuo Shiraga appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

World War II and the Gutai

Kazuo Shiraga was a Japanese painter born in Amagasaki in 1924. He died in his hometown in 2008.

His father, being a painter himself, enrolled Kazuo Shiraga in painting classes at the age of 13. He was enlisted in the Imperial Army in 1944 in Osaka, but did not take part in combat. He was 21 years old when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by atomic bombs. Returning to civilian life, he entered the Kyoto Vocational School of Painting. Having just graduated, he discovers Pollock and expressionism. In 1952 he founded Zero-Kai with a group of avant-garde painters, including Saburo Murakami and Atsuko Tanaka. Kazuo Shiraga began painting with a knife, then with his nails before trying painting with his feet, a revelation.

In 1955, the Gutai movement replaced the Zero-Kai, which claimed an opposition to abstract art. During this period Kazuo Shiraga deepens and develops his body painting technique. He hung a rope from the ceiling on which he swayed over the canvases, performing a kind of choreography; this was his catharsis.

Staging and spirituality

When not painting, Kazuo Shiraga created stagings where, for example, he destroyed tree trunks painted red with an axe, the performance became an art form in its own right. Michel Tapié, a French art critic, went to Japan to see an exhibition of the group and meet Kazuo Shiraga. He allowed the Japanese group to exhibit in Europe and the United States. He also exhibited in Paris in 1962 in Rodolphe Stadler’s gallery. Kazuo Shiraga also obtained a position as professor of art history at the University of Osaka during the 1960s.

Kazuo Shiraga became a monk at Enryaku-ji in 1971, a Buddhist monastery on Mount Hiei. This is the end of the Gutai movement and a new era begins for the one who now calls himself “Sodo Shiraga”. Isolation reconciles him with the painting he had abandoned since the mid 1960s. He mainly concentrated on black and white.

His first solo exhibition brought him international recognition in 1986 in Paris in the Stadler Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art. He painted his last picture in 2007 and died the following year in his home town. Since his death, his paintings have been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

The 1965 sculpture Untitled (Red Fan) sold for 1.8 million euros in February 2016. In 2017, the painting Chijikusei Gotenrai was bought for 3.25 million euros in Munich.

Recognising Kazuo Shiraga’s signature

Like many artists, Kazuo Shiraga did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of a signature in order to give you a first idea. Variations of this signature exist: do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to authenticate a signature in a formal way.

expertise signature

Appraising and selling a painting by Kazuo Shiraga

If you own a painting or any other sculpture by Kazuo Shiraga, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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