Art and/or Revolution: The Matter of Painting in Postwar Japan

Pedro Erber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Japanese art critics of the 1950s perceived the locus of a new materialist aesthetics in the new trends of informal abstraction emanating from the United States and France. This revealed a stark contrast with the idea of individual freedom that informed North-American discourse on Abstract Expressionism. Focusing on the writings of Miyakawa Atsushi, Haryu Ichiro, and Segi Shinichi, this article explores the political significance of the question of matter in Japanese postwar art criticism and indicates its importance for the subsequent development of avant-garde art in 1960s Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Abstraction
  • Art criticism
  • Informel
  • Japan
  • Materialism
  • Matter
  • Realism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History


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