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Diversity saved the Kano school

Apr 21, 2015

Diversity saved the Kano school

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Kyoto National Museum’s “Kano Painters of the Momoyama Period: Eitoku’s Legacy” is the follow up exhibition to the 2007 “Kano Eitoku, Momoyama Painter Extraordinaire” and focuses on Eitoku’s successors who produced work during the period 1596-1615. The current year marks the 400th anniversary of ...

Yoshihiko Ueda: a life with photography

Apr 21, 2015

Yoshihiko Ueda: a life with photography

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“What remains is future” were words written on a bag I saw someone carrying at Yoshihiko Ueda’s new exhibition “A life with Camera.” It’s the same phrase that appeared on badges Patti Smith handed out in New York nearly 10 years ago. Fittingly, her ...

The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

Apr 14, 2015

The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

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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 ...

Kyotographie is jazzed up with notable photography

Apr 14, 2015

Kyotographie is jazzed up with notable photography

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The curtain is about to rise on the 3rd Kyotographie festival of photography, and Lucille Reyboz, one of the two co-organizers, says that this is the most exciting but also most difficult time of the year. It’s a time to be “dokidoki” as she ...

Art's 20th-century identity crisis

Apr 7, 2015

Art's 20th-century identity crisis

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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 ...

Nylon references a synthetic world

Apr 7, 2015

Nylon references a synthetic world

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The Wish Less gallery is so named for a reason. Located on a quiet backstreet of Tabata in Tokyo, it advocates “wishing less” and “acting more” by offering itself as a meeting place for visitors to discover and talk about new art. “We wanted ...

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

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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 ...

Early photographers painted quite a pretty picture

Mar 26, 2015

Early photographers painted quite a pretty picture

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One of the biggest problems with modern and contemporary art, for many people, is the seeming lack of skill or workmanship. The criticism is that contemporary art is a scam, in which the usual suspects are talentless fame-hungry artists, unscrupulous gallery owners and self-important ...

The Suzukis' coffee cups runneth over

Mar 19, 2015

The Suzukis' coffee cups runneth over

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Among the hundreds of gilded and finely painted cups and saucers of “Demitasse Cosmos: Glitter of Jewelry” at the Mitsui Memorial Museum is a modest set that may be easily overlooked. Emerald green in glaze, with a simple black handle and rim, it’s a ...

Impressions of spiritual intimacy

Mar 19, 2015

Impressions of spiritual intimacy

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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

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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 persevering existence of On Kawara

Mar 12, 2015

The persevering existence of On Kawara

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Last summer, the Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara passed away at age 81. Having lived in New York since 1965, it is unsurprising that the Guggenheim honors Kawara with the first comprehensive retrospective of his work — an exhibition that Kawara himself helped organize. ...