Murakami, Saburo (村上三郎) (1925–1966) By Robinson, Joel
Saburo Murakami was a member of Group Zero in Japan. This collective was founded by Akira Kanayama, Kazuo Shiraga, and Atsuko Tanaka in 1952, but was merged with Gutai in 1955. Murakami took up training under Tsuguro Itoh in 1949, but was also an avid student of philosophy and aesthetics. His paintings—large-scale tactile colour-field pictures with paint, plaster, and resin peeling, splashed, scraped, or dripped, like Sakuhin (1959)—attest to the sway of a theatrical abstraction or Art Informel in post-war Japan. However, Murakami is better known for his ‘paper-breakthrough’ happenings, like At One Moment Opening Six Holes (1955), which saw the artist noisily strike, burst, or hurl himself through large tautly stretched paper screens, sometimes arranged serially.