Atsuko Tanaka wearing her ”Electric Dress” suspended from the ceiling at the 2nd Gutai Art Exhibition in Ohara Hall, Tokyo, 1956 © Kanayama Akira and Tanaka Atsuko Association. Photo (right): Courtesy of Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka.

Atsuko Tanaka

14.9 2019 – 16.2 2020


Experience the playful works by Japanese artist Atsuko Tanaka who, in the 1950s and 1960s, challenged the boundaries of art. In post-war Japan, a period infused by the overhanging threat of nuclear war, Tanaka along with other members of the Gutai group wanted to break away from academic art and start again from square one. With simple, everyday materials and radical practices, they sought a new art for a new era.

Atsuko Tanaka (1932–2005) was part of the Osaka-based Gutai group in 1955–1965. These artists wanted to dissolve the boundary between art and life. Like many other members of the Gutai group, Tanaka explored everyday materials and performative practices.

Atsuko Tanaka created “Denkifuku (Electric Dress)” for a performance in 1956. It consisted of hundreds of coloured lightbulbs, and when she wore it on stage, their pulsating light illuminated the room like electrified blood circulating through her body. Technology and body were fused in the hallucinatory light-play of the modern city. The intense colours in “Denkifuku” recur in several abstract paintings in this exhibition, where networks of circles and lines are repeated in complex circuit diagrams. The same gesture is repeated in the film documentation of “Round on Sand” (1968), where Tanaka instead draws circles in the sand until the waves wash them away and the process starts over.

See Atsuko Tanaka’s works in an exhibition that explores her early oeuvre in depth, along with the playful spirit of the Gutai group’s experimental and interdisciplinary art.

Curators: Matilda Olof-Ors and Jo Widoff


Admission: 100 kr
Reduced admission: 70 kr (for seniors and students)

Including the exhibition Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd – Alias: CFR

School visit

Welcome to visit the exhibition with you school class! To avoid double bookings for guided tours, please contact our booking office in good time and notify us of the date of your visit. E-mail: booking office

Free admission for:

  • School classes with pupils under the age 18 (with a teacher)
  • Accompanying teachers and assistants
  • SFI-classes

Book a guided tour or workshop

Combine your museum visit with a guided tour or an inspiring workshop session. We have different workshops for pupils 13 years and older, and 4–12 years old.

Book a guided tour and/or workshop

Read more about school visits: School

The exhibition is on the 2nd floor

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Installation view ”Atsuko Tanaka”, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 2019 Photo: Åsa Lundén/Moderna Museet
Installation view ”Atsuko Tanaka”, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 2019 Photo: Åsa Lundén/Moderna Museet

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