Japan Society is having a show,
Yasumasa Morimura. Ego Obscura.
Yasumasa Morimura is one of my favorite artists. I haven’t heard about him for a while so I was very happy to see his work again. As you see, his works are funny and witty. He transformed his body to greatest artists and beyond. He could be anybody.
One of Japan’s most prolific and versatile contemporary artists, Yasumasa Morimura. Ego Obscura highlights Morimura’s 30-year-long project of excavating “the self” from layers of art history, Japanese postwar history, and personal history.
I went to Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil at MOMA. It was just as MOMA explained “a rare opportunity to explore the work of this daring modernist” for me. I felt Tarsila’s works were charming and they made me relaxed. Although she had professional education as an artist, her works look more like Naïve art than Modernism or Cubism art.
Tarsila do Amaral (1886–1973) is an Brazilian artist. She studied in Paris with André Lhote, Albert Gleizes, and Fernand Léger. The exhibition focuses on her pivotal production from the 1920s, when she navigated the art worlds of both São Paulo and Paris, and charts her involvement with an increasingly international artistic community, as well as her critical role in the emergence of modernism in Brazil.
La Capresse des Colonies, Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, 1861. Images courtesy of the Met Breuer.
Action 105: An Israeli soldier points his gun at the Palestinian youth asked to strip down as he stands at a military checkpoint along the separation barrier at the entrance of Bethlehem, March 2006, Reza Aramesh
I really enjoyed Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now), a exhibition at the Met Breuer. They juxtaposed old and contemporary master works. We usually see art works based on time. Art has been developed Renaissance to modern and present. But this exhibition shows the viewers that old and present art works are resembled each other regardless of time.
Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two Figures) 1972
Domestic Scene, Los Angeles 1963
I went to David Hockney show at The Met. They said; this major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.
I liked his works long time ago. It was sometime 80’. Then I lost interest and forgot about his works because I thought his works looked more commercial illustration than fine art. I am glad to see my old “friend” who is still doing great. I love the bright colors and lines, which brought cleanness to his works. I see his work more as a fine art now.
I was lucky to notice The Met Breuer was showing works of Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch (1863–1944). The title of the show is Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed which was the title of his one of his self-portrait.
Munch’s works are well known for his depictions of human anxiety. Because in modern society, everyone seems living with depression, I think his works reveal one aspect of our modern society. Thus his works are very contemporary.
His most famous work is The Scream, which was not there. It was very disappointing. However, I enjoyed the show. Munch is one of my favorite artists but I didn’t have a chance to see his works at the same time.
I went to “the must-see” show, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer at Metropolitan Museum. It was very successful show. So many people! Met announced that the 10th most visited exhibition in the museum’s history. It’s brought more than 700,000 visitors for three months. I was one of them. It was so many (but not too many) works. They show not only his works but also other artists who worked with him. I’ve never get tired of seeing those masterpieces! Just beautiful.
I went to see the show, Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction at MOMA.
I knew Francis Picabia but didn’t know much about his works. It was amazing to see entire his career! Its styles ranged widely—and wildly—from Impressionism to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to art informel. He mastered each style. The show looked like works of ten different artists. I love the fact that his works has the sense of millennium.
rancis Picabia. La Nuit espagnole (The Spanish Night). 1922
Francis Picabia. Portrait d’un couple (Portrait of a Couple)
I went to a very interesting show, On Kawara – Silence at Guggenheim Museum. Since On Kawara is a well-known Japanese artist, I know his work quite while. But I had never seen this volume of his work. This is the first full representation of Kawara’s output, beginning in 1964 and including every category of work, much of it produced during his travels across the globe: date paintings (the Today series); postcards (the I Got Up series); telegrams (the I Am Still Alive series); maps (the I Went series); lists of names (the I Met series); newspaper cuttings (the I Read series); the inventory of paintings (Journals); and calendars (One Hundred Years and One Million Years).
I think his work is performance art in funny way. We are not seeing when he is performing but seeing the record of his performance.
What a pleasure to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at a day of middle of winter. I easily forgot we were still in winter. This show brought me spring to my eyes. Simple shapes and colors were blooming at MOMA.
This is a rare occasion to see Motisse’s cut-out pieces extensively. The last time New York audiences were treated to an in-depth look at the cut-outs was in 1961!
Finally I went to the show, Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor at MOMA. It will end tomorrow.
The Heart Is Not a Metaphor is the first large-scale survey of Robert Gober’s career to take place in the United States. Gober (American, b. 1954) rose to prominence in the mid-1980s and was quickly acknowledged as one of the most significant artists of his generation.
This is the first time I saw his works with my own eyes. I had seen his works with photos and I hadn’t been interested in. I had thought that they were too conceptual and dry. But real works were really good. They were conceptual yet sensitive and poetic. They were opposite of my impression I had before. This is a lesson for me to learn that real works and their photos are sometimes different!