Fujiko Shiraga

A couple weeks ago I was in Chicago to meet with a friend, Fred Weber and see Billy Bragg perform at the Old Town Music School.  One of the more dynamic moments for me at that show was Mr. Braggs advice to not conflate the notion of Democracy with the notion of Solidarity.   To look for where, as individuals, we have similar interests. 

Fast forward to the next day when I had a full day, open to close, at the Chicago Art Institute scheduled.

In their new Contemporary Wing I ran across the work of Fujiko Shiraga. 

Married to Kazuo Shiraga, the couple was one of the most prominent members of the gutai art movement in Japan.

Fujiko used unconventional materials in a radical new way and explored the possibilities of surfaces and materiality.

Fujiko Shiraga

Japanese 1928-2015



Oil, Janapese paper, and glass on canvas

By 1961, she had abandoned her practice and moved to support Kazuo’s studio practice, a role she maintained for the remainder of his career. 

In her untitled assemblage of 1961 Fujiko Shiraga uses oil paints, Japanese papers and glass to explore disparate surfaces that construct a new yet familiar interior space. I find these canvases harmonious and heartwarming. A feeling of the earths’ underlying forces.


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