Ryuji Tanaka

Born: Kochi,1927. Died:2014
Period of Membership in GUTAI: 1965-1967

Tanaka studied Japanese-style painting at Kyoto City University of Art (now Kyoto City University of Arts) and participated in the formation of the Pan Real Art Association in 1948, where he aimed to revolutionize Japanese painting along with Makoto Mikami and others. He first learned of Gutai’s activities in 1955 through the “Experimental Outdoor Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Mid-Summer Sun”, although he did not immediately become a member at that time. He attended the Gutai Pinacotheca on the invitation of Kazuo Shiraga, becoming a member in 1965 after participating in the 15th Gutai Art Exhibition.
Tanaka’s work is informed by his roots in Japanese-style painting, and for this reason, it occupies a unique position within Gutai. It can be said that the vague form-like “somethings” painted using materials such as mineral pigments and “sumi” ink constitute the practice of Gutai art attempted from the context of Japanese painting.