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Permanent exhibition and Archive

Palazzo Spinelli Tarsia – Naples

OPENING 15 December, 7 pm

pdf Brochure


Located in the 17th century Palazzo Spinelli di Tarsia in Naples, created by Fondazione Morra, the Shozo Shimamoto Association is a permanent exhibition and research space focused on the work of the great Japanese artist, died in 2013. Protagonist of the historical movement Gutai, with the first “throws” on the surface of grounds and walls, casting cannons and bottles of color, he had already been in Italy by the historical Turin’ Gallery Notizia.

Ever since his debut,Shimamoto adopted a behaviour of radical denial of artistic tradition, the national one, in its academic form, but not even the western avant-garde, being so far away for cultural and thematic approach. For a young “angry” post-war Japanese artist the break with tradition therefore ended up coinciding with the act of painting “conveyed – as he himself stated in a few brief words – by the paintbrush, emblematic image of a technique that aimed at enhancing form, composition and description instead of expression – in all times and all latitudes”.

In 1957 Shimamoto formulated this conviction in an article/manifesto titled “In his efforts to ban the paintbrush”, which he believed had mortified the material and autonomously expressive qualities of color, bending it to extremes unknown to its nature, through the use of “traditional” techniques (all traditions ideally unified in the example of the Renaissance). “I believe – he wrote – that the first thing to do is free color from the paintbrush. If in the process of creating the paintbrush isn’t cast aside there is no hope of emancipating the tones”, which was what he intended to do by giving to color what is of color, that is, its being a material part of light.

In 1956, for the first time, Shimamoto created the act of casting bottles full of color onto a canvas. This is an act which he repeated infinitely throughout the years and characterized his “painting”.

In 2006 Rosanna Chiessi and Giuseppe Morra promoted an unforgettable performance in Naples’ historic Piazza Dante, and in 2007, in accordance with Shimamoto, they founded the Shozo Shimamoto Association in Italy and in Japan, with the aim of promoting and supporting the artistic research of the Master, not only through the production of catalogues, videos and documentaries, but also by holding some of the performances that have made him world famous. Along with this artistic production, the Shozo Shimamoto Association has engaged in a critical and historiographical study of the Master's work, as well as the organisation and management of a general archive, also thanks to the help of Andrea Mardegan working in Japan. Through this strong friendship, a bridge between East and West has made, whereby the artist’s work reaches an international audience, who celebrates today his work and his original immense value.

The new space at Palazzo Spinelli di Tarsia dedicated to Shozo Shimamoto Association adds a new piece to the mosaic that is the wider Il Quartieredell’arte (The Art Neighbourhood), with the aim to

improve the quality of life in an entire area of the city adjacent to Naples city centre, where there are already active Museo Hermann Nitsch Archivio Laboratorio per le Arti Contemporanee, founded in 2008, and Casa Morra, seat of Fondazione Morra at Palazzo AyerboD’AragonaCassano, with the program of 100 years of exhibitions and many cultural projects.


Associazione Shozo Shimamoto



Fondazione Morra

Francesca Blandino

Ph. + 39 0815641655

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