Tetsumi Kudo

  • Born 1935 in Osaka, Japan
  • Died 1990 in Tokyo, Japan
Eschewing formal categorization and existing artistic concepts, Tetsumi Kudo created biomorphic sculptures and assemblages that often incorporated grotesque renderings of the human body in combination with man-made items. He first enrolled at the Āto no Asagaya kenkyūjo (Asagaya Institute of Art) in 1953 and continued his studies at the Tōkyō bijutsu kunitachidaigaku (Tokyo National University of Fine Arts) from 1954 to 1958. Praised by the French art critic Michel Tapié (10th Yomiuri Independent Exhibition, 1958) and labeled “anti-art junk” by art critic Yoshiaki Tono (referring to Kudo’s Proliferating Chain Reaction, 1959), Kudo’s production performances and visual works regularly invited controversy. His artistic involvement with such themes as radiation, reproduction, and impotence already defined his early works. When he moved to Paris on a scholarship in 1963 he gained instant recognition with his legendary performance Philosophy of Impotence. Throughout his career he held exhibitions in Japan and Europe, including the Venice Biennale (1976) and the Bienal de São Paulo (1977). A major retrospective at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2008–09), introduced Kudo’s art to a wide American audience.

Artworks by Tetsumi Kudo in the exhibition