Imayo Ranbu (Modern Dance)


Kazuo Shiraga ( Japanese, 1924 - 2008 )

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General Description

Created when the artist was seventy-six years old, Imayō Ranbu is an immensely powerful later example of Kazuo Shiraga’s foot paintings. While earlier works in this vein are often brooding in nature, Shiraga took liberties later in his career, often playing with a more colorful and livelier palette. The title refers to the popular music (imayō) and festive dance (ranbu) of Heian-period Japan (ce 794–1185). Shiraga’s painting captures the vivaciousness and cele­bratory nature of a festive dance, both literally in the process of its making as well as in its energetic composi­tion and cheerful palette.

Excerpt from

  • Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 215.

Web Resources

  • Dallas Museum of Art
    Explore images, text, press, and video documentation of the 2015 exhibition _Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga. _

  • Artrip Museum, Osaka City Museum of Modern Art
    Review the artist's biography, an explanation of his foot painting technique, and resources connected to the Gutai Art Association, of which Shiraga was a member.