Shusaku Arakawa, Nagoya 1936 - 2010 New York

  • Shusaku Arakawa

    Nagoya 1936 - 2010 New York

Shusaku Arakawa was a pioneering figure in the international conceptual art movement of the 1960s. Arakawa moved from his native Japan to New York in 1961, where he began creating a prolific body of paintings, drawings, and highly inventive architectural constructions which explored systems of human perception and knowledge. Fundamental to Arakawa’s career was his lifelong collaboration with the American writer Madeline Gins, who he met in 1962 and later married. For a decade beginning in 1963, the pair embarked upon a series called “The Mechanism of Meaning”, comprising eighty canvases exploring human consciousness, a portion of which were first presented at the Venice Biennale in 1970. During the 1990s, Arakawa and Gins dedicated their energies primarily to architecture in the belief that the built environment had the potential to enhance personal well-being and extend the human lifespan, a concept they called “reversible destiny.” 


Shusaku Arakawa
Nagoya 1936–2010 New York
Untitled, 1966
Oil on canvas
246 x 159 cm (96 7/8 x 62 5/8 in.)