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C.B. Liddell

For C.B. Liddell's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

Apr 14, 2015

The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

Often, when two cultures meet, it can be very messy and lead to a lot of unpleasantness. The continuing inability of the West and Islam to understand each other suggests itself as a convenient example. This kind of conflict often boils down to a ...

Art's 20th-century identity crisis

Apr 7, 2015

Art's 20th-century identity crisis

The 20th century is rather like the teenager who never grew up — a century that saw itself as perpetually young, as the “modernist” culmination of history rather than part of the historical process. In short, an age guilty of “chronocentricism.” But, like all ...

There's no need to squint at the work of Guercino

Mar 26, 2015

There's no need to squint at the work of Guercino

History has not been kind to Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, the Italian Baroque painter who is better known by his artistic nickname, Guercino — “the Squinter.” Despite being one of the acknowledged greats of European painting during one of its finest periods, in recent times ...

Impressions of spiritual intimacy

Mar 19, 2015

Impressions of spiritual intimacy

There are two theories about post-impressionist art. One is that it was a continuation of the modernist spirit of the impressionists, with the application of ever-more scientific principles of color and light to the depiction of objects. The other is that post-impressionism was a ...

Art Fair Tokyo seeks to educate

Mar 12, 2015

Art Fair Tokyo seeks to educate

Art Fair Tokyo, the city’s premier art showcase, is always a pleasure to experience, and I’m sure this year’s event, to be held March 20-22 at the Tokyo International Forum, will have much to offer. But part of the fun of following Art Fair ...

The flickering of Japan's contemporary art

Mar 5, 2015

The flickering of Japan's contemporary art

Art used to be about what you could see, but now, thanks to a more “conceptual” approach, it is often about what cannot be seen. Except the artist still has to demonstrate in some way what it is that can’t be seen — in ...

Neo-impressionism: color-coded familiarities

Feb 19, 2015

Neo-impressionism: color-coded familiarities

The term “neo-impressionism” suggests a sequel to impressionism and, just like with movie sequels, there is a faint lowering of expectations. But this is entirely the wrong way to approach “Neo-Impressionism: from Light to Color” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some visitors ...

How art deco stripped nudity of eroticism

Feb 12, 2015

How art deco stripped nudity of eroticism

When the Teien Museum of Art reopened late last year, after a period of refurbishment and expansion, the exhibition held was no real test for either the main building or the newly added annex. The art of Rei Naito was so minimalist that it ...

Paris' melancholic life of the party

Feb 5, 2015

Paris' melancholic life of the party

The painter Jules Pascin was the epitome of the cosmopolitan, bohemian artist who came to define Paris of the 1920s. The latest exhibition at the Panasonic Shiodome Museum looks at the life and art of this painter, who was an important feature of the ...

Guiding the landscape of abstract painting

| Jan 29, 2015

Guiding the landscape of abstract painting

As the name suggests, the main concept behind the “Quintet” series of exhibitions that the Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art started running last year is to bring together five artists whose art harmonizes well, just like a musical quintet. Another goal, according to ...