Saburo Murakami

Selected Chronology・Major Exhibitions

Born in Kobe (June 27).
Enters a prep course at Kwansei Gakuin University. Joins the school painting club, Gengetsu-kai.
Studies with Hiroshi Kanbara and starts oil painting.
Begins working at the Mukogawa factory of Kubota Iron Works as part of the war effort.
Joins the Tottori 40th Infantry Regiment. Later transferred to Takanabe, South Kyūshū.
The Second World War ends (August 15).
Readmitted to Kwansei Gakuin University (under the old education system), where he enters the philosophy department (graduates in ’48).
Around this time, adopts the pen name “Murakami-Hiko.”
Begins studying with Itō Tsugurō.
Enters the aesthetics department at Kwansei Gakuin University Graduate School (under the old education system).
5th Ashiya City Exhibition, Buddhist Hall, Ashiya, Hyōgo. Participates in every exhibition until the 47th Exhibition in ’94.
Around this time, along with Akira Kanayama, Kazuo Shiraga, and Atsuko Tanaka, Murakami joins the Zero Society (Zero-kai), a radical
faction of the Shinseisaku Art Society.
Two-person show: Murakami-Hiko / Shiraga Kazuo, European Painting Gallery, Hankyū Department Store, Osaka.
––– Meets Jirō Yoshihara for the first time at this event.
Zero Society Exhibition, show windows, Sogō Department Store, Osaka.
––– Shows ‘Throwing Ball Painting’, made by throwing a paint-covered ball at the face of the painting.
Around this time, joins Gutai Art Association.
Experimental Outdoor Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Midsummer Sun, Ashiya Park, Hyōgo
––– Shows a work in which Murakami tore apart a piece of asphalt roofing as he ran across it, and other works.
1st Gutai Art Exhibition, Ohara Hall, Tokyo.
––– Produces ‘Paper-Breaking’ for the first time, and shows works such as ‘Six Holes’ and ‘Entrance.’ ‘Entrance’ was performed by
Jirō Yoshihara.
Begins a lifelong involvement in children’s art education at various kindergartens in Itami, Nishinomiya, and Osaka.
6th Kansai Art Exhibition, Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts.
Shows ‘Work (Please Sit Down)’, commissioned by the painting division of the exhibition, and arouses controversy.
Shinkō Independent Exhibition, 3rd floor hall, Shinkō Shinbun newspaper office, Kōbe, Hyōgo.
––– Shows ‘Box’, a work made by placing a wall clock inside a wooden box.
9th Ashiya City Exhibition, Seidō Elementary School, Ashiya, Hyōgo. –– Shows ‘Air.’
Outdoor Gutai Art Exhibition, Ashiya Park, Hyōgo –– Shows ‘All Landscapes’ and ‘Sky.’
2nd Gutai Art Exhibition, Ohara Hall, Tokyo –– Shows ‘Passage’ (‘Paper-breaking’).
3rd Gutai Art Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art.
––– Shows works such as a painting made by placing a canvas heaped with paint facedown overnight, and a large painting with a surface of
paint that continues to crumble off, depending on the changing state of the paint and glue.
Gutai Art on the Stage, Sankei Hall, Osaka/ Sankei Hall, Tokyo.
––– Presents a performance, ‘Confronting Screens’, in which Murakami destroys panels of stretched paper using his hands, feet and a stick.
International Art of a New Era: Informel and Gutai, 3rd floor hall, Takashimaya Department Store, Osaka (exhibition travels to 4 other cities).
The Gutai Group Exhibition / 6th Gutai Art Exhibition, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York (exhibition travels to 4 other American cities).
From around this time, produces many paintings using vigorous brushstrokes until the early ’60s.
8th Gutai Art Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art/ Ohara Hall, Tokyo.
––– Shows paintings with canvases attached to the face of the work.
Solo exhibition, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka.
––– Shows 21 works, including paintings with wooden frames attached to the face of the work, and paintings with protrusions of plaster.
14th Gutai Art Exhibition, 3rd floor hall, Takashimaya Department Store, Osaka.
15th Gutai Art Exhibition, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka.
20th Gutai Art Exhibition, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka.
––– Shows works made by attaching paper to a canvas and tracing its outline.
Gutai Art Small Works Exhibition, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka.
Saburo Murakami “Box” (Hako) One-Man Show, Mori’s Form, Osaka.
Around this time, submits letter of resignation to Gutai Art Association which is subsequently rejected.
Gutai Art Association dissolved (March 31).
Murakami Saburo Solo Exhibition / ‘Wooden Clappers’ (Hyōshigi), Gallery Shunjūkan, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Exhibition / ‘Silence’ (Mugon), Mugensha, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Exhibition / ‘Water’ (Mizu), Shinanobashi Gallery Apron, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Exhibition / ‘Lines’ (Suji), Shinanobashi Gallery Apron, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Kakikuke Solo Show (Kakikuke koten), Gallery Seiwa, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Exhibition / ‘Floor’ (Yuka), Shinanobashi Gallery Apron, Osaka.
Murakami Saburo Exhibition: Displeasure by the Principle of Identity (Jidōritsu no fukai), Galerie Kitano Circus, Kōbe, Hyōgo.
Jirō Yoshihara and Today’s Aspects of the Gutai, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art.
Group Gutai: Action and Painting, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art (exhibition travels to Madrid and Belgrade).
Japon des Avant-gardes 1910-1970, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Giappone all’avangardia: Il Gruppo Gutai negli anni Cinquanta, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.
Gutai: Japanische Avantgarde / Japanese Avant-Garde 1954-1965, Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt.
Gutai I: 1954–1958, Ashiya City Museum of Art & History, Hyōgo. (Gutai II and III were held in 1993)
Revived Outdoor Exhibition, Ashiya Park, Hyōgo (planned in conjunction with Gutai I).
Passagio ad Oriente, La Biennale di Venezia: XLV Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, Venice.
Gutaï…suite?, Palais des arts, Toulouse.
––– Presents ‘Exit’, in which Murakami breaks through tissue paper.
Gutai 1955/56: A Restarting Point for Japanese Contemporary Art, Penrose Institute of Contemporary Arts, Tokyo/ Kirin Plaza, Osaka.
MUSIC / every sound includes music, Xebec Foyer, Kōbe, Hyōgo.
Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York and other venues.
Hors Limites: L’arte et la vie 1952-1994, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
––– The museum acquires ‘Passage’, which was shown in the exhibition.
One Day Museum: Feeling from Seeing, Kawanishi City Hall, Hyōgo.
––– Presents ‘Exit’, which becomes his last performance.
Stumbles in front of his house before dawn and is rushed to the hospital (January 6).
Dies of a cerebral contusion at the age of 70 (January 11).
Saburo Murakami Exhibition, Ashiya City Museum of Art & History, Hyōgo.
Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949‒1979, The Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles/
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and other venues.
Gutaï, Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris.
Le Tribù dell’ Arte, Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome.
Saburo Murakami, Gallery Kuranuki, Osaka
Gutai Retrospective, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art.
Traces: Body and Idea in Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto/ The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
ZERO: Internationale Künstler-Avantgarde der 50er/60er Jahre, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf/ Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne
Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice.
Fare Mondi, La Biennale di Venezia: 53a Esposizione Internationale d’ Arte, Venice.
Gutai: Dipingere con il tempo e lo spazio, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, Parco Villa Ciani, Lugano.
Saburo Murakami: Focus on the 70s, ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka.
Gutai: The Spirit of an Era, The National Art Center, Tokyo.
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles/ The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
TOKYO 1955-1970:A New Avant-Garde, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Parallel Views: Italian and Japanese Art from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, The Warehouse, Rachofsky Collection, Dallas.
Gutai: Splendid Playground, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Saburo Murakami, ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka
Performing for the Camera, Tate Modern, London.
––– Six continous photographs of ‘Passage’ (2nd Gutai Art Exhibition, 1956) taken by Kiyoji Otsuji shown.
The Emergence of Contemporary: Avant-garde Art in Japan, 1950-1970, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro.
A Feverish Era: Art Informel and the Expansion of Japanese Artistic Expression in the 1950s and ’60s, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.
New Beginnings: Between Gesture and Geometry, The George Economou Collection, Athens.
A Feverish Era in Japanese Art, Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels.
Japanese Art of the 1950s: Starting Point after the War, The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama.
Saburo Murakami, ARTCOURTGallery, Osaka
Saburo Murakami, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Wijnegem
Gutai 1953-59, Fergus McCaffrey, New York
Gutai, L’espace et le temps, Musée Soulages, Rodez
The Yamamura Collection: Gutai and the Japanese Avant-Garde 1950s-1980s, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

Major Public Collections

Ashiya City Museum of Art & History/ Osaka City Museum of Modern Art/ Kitakyūshū Municipal Museum of Art/ The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto/ The National Museum of Art, Osaka/ Chiba City Museum of Art/ Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo/ Ōtani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City/ Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art/ Fuchū Art Museum/ The Miyagi Museum of Art/ Axel and May Vervoordt Foundation, Wijnegem/ Guggenheim Abu Dhabi/ The Art Institute of Chicago/ The George Economou Collection, Athens/ The Museum of Modern Art, New York/ Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris/ M+, Hong Kong/ Rachofsky Collection, Dallas.