Arts Curriculum

Gutai: Splendid Playground

February 15–May 8, 2013


Abacus An instrument for performing calculations by sliding bead counters along rods or in grooves. its first known use was in the 14th century; it is probably of Babylonian origin.

Art Movement A group of artists who agree on general principles.

Automation Automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor.

Avant-Garde A way to describe artists who operate outside of the mainstream and strive to push the boundaries of art. The term was originally used by the military in reference to the soldiers at the front of a battle formation.

Cold War The ideological conflict between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the second half of the 20th century.

Conceptual Art An art form in which the artist’s primary intent is to work with a concept rather than to create an art object.

Concrete Characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events.

Concrete Music or Musique Concrete Sound-based music that has no composition, and no beginning or end.

Dada A movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values.

Gesso Plaster of paris or gypsum prepared with glue for use in painting or making bas-reliefs.

Gutai An artist collective and artistic movement in postwar Japan that consisted of fifty-nine members spanning eighteen years (1954–72). the Japanese word gutai means “concreteness.”

Happening An event that combines elements of painting, poetry, music, dance, and theater, staged as a live action. The term was coined by the American artist Allan Kaprow in the 1950s.

Manifesto A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

Pinacotheca A picture gallery; a museum founded by Gutai artists in Japan in 1962.

Space Race A competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, soon after World War II, to best each other’s achievements in space exploration.

Surrealism A 20th-century movement in art and literature that sought to express the subconscious mind by depicting objects and events as seen in dreams.

Gutai: Splendid Playground related terms and additional resources

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