Shozo Shimamoto(嶋本 昭三,Shimamoto Shōzō?, January 22, 1928 – January 25, 2013) was a Japanese artist. He was a co-founder (along with Jirō Yoshihara) of the avant garde Gutai group formed in the 1950s, and his works are in museum collections such as those of the Tate Gallery and the Tate Modern (in both London and Liverpool) and the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Japan. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith has noted him as one of the most daring and independent experimentalists of the postwar international art scene in the 1950s. Internationally today he is especially noted for his work in the "mail art" genre, of which he was a pioneer.
New York Times article by art critic Roberta Smith: "ART VIEW; When Art Became a Stage and Artists Actors" (April 5, 1998). She names Shimamoto as among the most daring experimentalists on the international art scene:
"Perhaps driven by the exhilarating mixture of relief, freedom and despair that followed the end of World War II, artists around the world had been experimenting with newly physical, sometimes violent, cathartic ways of making paintings and sculptures. Others were also staging what they called events, or actions or performances that sometimes were as destructive as they were creative....
"Some of these artists were doubtlessly influenced by Pollock's example... But the same year brought independent experiments: Lucio Fontana, for example, was in Argentina (or Italy), making images by repeatedly puncturing or slashing painted canvases with knives. And in Japan, Shozo Shimamoto was symbolically penetrating the sacrosanct picture plane of painting by throwing himself through several layers of rice paper, leaving traces of the event -- the hole surrounded by jagged shards of paper -- as the work of art."