Akira Kanayama

Born: Amagasaki, 1924. Died: 2006.
Period of Membership in GUTAI : 1955-1965

Kanayama dropped out of Tama Art College (the current Tama Art University) in 1947 to study at the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts Art Institute, where he studied until 1954. In 1952, he formed the “Zero-Kai” [Zero Society] with Saburo Murakami and Kazuo Shiraga, who had exhibited at the Shin Seisaku Kyokai [New Production Association] Exhibition. (He had also been friends with fellow artist Kazuo Shiraga since elementary school.) From around 1954, he released paintings with a rigid composition using only geometric patterns. The Zero Society was invited to join the Guitai Art Assocation through Shozo Shimamoto and participated in the association from 1955. At the time, Jiro Yoshihara did not approve of his brand new, completely blank canvases, which he had arrived at after further simplifying his composition. In addition to two-dimensional works, he also used balloons to turn entire exhibition spaces into works of art, and his three-dimensional awareness was acute. At the 3rd Gutai Art Exhibition in 1957, he established a method of dripping paint using electric toy cars.