A powerful look at 'exotic' and 'primitive' artworks

Apr 30, 2014

A powerful look at 'exotic' and 'primitive' artworks

The “Power of Images” exhibition at the National Art Centre Tokyo is nothing less than an assault on the senses — a barrage of exotic and vivid anthropological oddities from the collection of the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. Garish, fantastic, ghoulish and ...

Art on the brink of fragmentation

Apr 9, 2014

Art on the brink of fragmentation

You can’t go wrong by calling a show “Fragments,” as the curators of this year’s “MOT Annual” exhibition have done. With a name like that, whatever bits and pieces visitors encounter at the annual group show of Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art, they can’t ...

Mar 26, 2014

On light, wind — and good sake

Tokyo Station Gallery is one of the more interesting art venues in the city. Occupying part of the renovated Tokyo Station Building, it combines daring modern design with the building’s early 20th-century, red-brick charm. This also makes it a rather suitable venue for “Hakubakai ...

Exhausting the sense of the beautiful

Feb 27, 2014

Exhausting the sense of the beautiful

The Aesthetic Movement, a loosely defined tendency in 19th-century European art, operated under the slogan of "art of art's sake" and believed beauty was the end, not the means.

The Pre-Raphaelites: Britain’s Romantic rule breakers

Feb 12, 2014

The Pre-Raphaelites: Britain’s Romantic rule breakers

Some paintings will always be identified with the place where you first saw them. You may even feel surprised to see them somewhere else. This is how I felt when I visited the Mori Arts Center Gallery, one of Tokyo’s high-rise art venues, to ...

The extent of Puvis de Chavannes' stately influence

Jan 15, 2014

The extent of Puvis de Chavannes' stately influence

When you enter "Arcadia by the Shore" it is not difficult to get a sense of why Puvis de Chavannes was so successful in his own day, and why his reputation later slipped far behind those of other painters then considered his inferiors.