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Market warms to Japanese avant-garde

A new auction record is set for Kazuo Shiraga

The market’s reassessment of Japan’s post-war avant-garde Gutai artists continues apace. On 4 June, a new auction record was set for Kazuo Shiraga (died 2008), who made paintings with his feet by swinging from a rope, when his oil Gekidou Suru Aka, 1969 (left), sold for €3.9m at Sotheby’s in Paris. A year ago the artist’s auction record stood at €1.7m. New York’s Dominique Lévy Gallery brought Shiraga’s Untitled, 1962 (sold for around $2.5m) to Art Basel this year (19-22 June), to hang alongside its elegant “homage” to the German Zero artist Günther Uecker.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 259 July 2014