Collection 3

October 22(Sat.) - December 18(Sun.), 2005

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1. Abstract Expression after the War
Not long after the war, in the 1950s, a French abstract painting movement called Art Informel took the Japanese art world by storm. Because the paintings, grouped together under a name that meant "nonfinite," were created out of the traces of physical expression left by a painter's movements, they were linked to the Abstruct Expressionist movement in the U.S. Meanwhile, in Japan, the work of Gutai, a group led by Jiro Yoshihara, was also receiving attention. In this section, we examine some of era's avant-garde expressions, with an emphasis on the Gutai artists.

2. Postwar Realist Painting
Following the Shinko Bijutsu movement that emerged in the Taisho Period, there was a phase during which Japanese avant-garde artists adopted the latest abstract art styles from the U.S. and Europe. Then after World War II, a younger generation of artist emerged who, in response to this previous attitude, began pursuing realistic expressions. These work, called "reportage paintings," can be seen as part of postwar realism movement that focused on social issues.

3. Ei-Q and His Circle
Ei-Q(1911-1960) was an artist who used various experimental forms in a wide range of artistic genres prior to and following World War II. Ei-Q also attracted many younger artists, who would gather and engage in heated discussions about art theory. In this section, to accompany the Ei-Q Photo Dessin exhibition which is now underway, we feature works by artists who were closely associated with Ei-Q, including members of the Democrat Bijutsu Kyokai, which was formed in Osaka in 1951 with Ei-Q as its leader.

4. The Art of Mono-ha
Mono-ha, a group of artists who were active from about 1968 to the early 1970s, attempted to offer a glimpse of a world that was different from the ordinary one we live in. They did this by presenting unadulterated materials (mono) like stone and wood, paper and string, and sheet metal and paraffin in usual ways. Beginning in the late 70s, this approach also began to surface in more traditional forms such as painting and sculpture. At first glance, Mono-ha's works seem to be different from abstract art created in the West, but on closer inspection, it is possible to detect something about them that is uniquely East Asian.

5. Western Modern Art
The 20th century was a period filled with experiments and creative innovations that rewrote art history. Cézanne began as a 19th-century impressionist and opened the door to cubism. And Picasso and Kandinsky, forerunners of contemporary art, developed a new style - abstract painting. In this section, we introduce famous works of Western modern art, from Cézanne to Max Ernst, one of the most important surrealist painters.

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