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The Cover
November 7, 2001

To Martha's Memory

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;286(17):2064. doi:10.1001/jama.286.17.2064

As early as the 1950s the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City was challenging the conventional art world by exhibiting works of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Jackson was especially interested in bringing artists to her gallery who were still unknown in the United States. One of these was Jiro Yoshihara (1905-1972), a founder of abstract painting in Japan and leader of the Gutai (literal translation: "Concrete"; "Embodiment") Art Association. Based in Osaka, Gutai was founded in 1954 by 18 young Japanese artists, one of several avant-garde art groups that sprang up in Japan following World War II. Entirely independent of similar movements elsewhere in the Western art world, the group nevertheless developed along parallel tracks with these other groups. They questioned everything about art—even whether form existed—and went beyond the canvas surface to performance art, kinetic art, and light art. Their journal Gutai, which was seen internationally, brought them recognition from art circles around the world, not only that of Martha Jackson, but of painters in the United States and Europe such as Jackson Pollock, Sam Francis, Georges Mathieu, and the critic Michel Tapié. When Jiro Yoshihara died suddenly in the early 1970s, the Gutai Art Association disbanded. Recent years, however, have seen a resurgence of interest.

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