Jeff Michael Hammond
For Jeff Michael Hammond's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Oct 22, 2019
May 7, 2019
Nov 13, 2018
Suffering saints and sultry nudes — Peter Paul Rubens has them all. The Flemish painter (1577-1640) took on a variety of subject matter, and also had a hand in pushing predominant tastes from the Renaissance's revival of classical ideas to the more elaborate experiments of the Baroque period that followed.
Jul 24, 2018
Jan 23, 2018
The strides in Western culture that took place around the 16th century are all too often associated with the Italian Renaissance, but other centers of learning in Europe deserve equal attention. Of note is Prague, where Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor from the House of Habsburg, supported developments in art, and sponsored research into the sciences, including mathematics, astronomy and alchemy. As a collector, Rudolf (1552-1612) amassed a wide range of artifacts from all these fields.
Dec 5, 2017
Jul 25, 2017
Hybridity and eclecticism may be key concepts in much contemporary art, yet they are not new phenomena. In the Taisho Era (1912-1926), Tetsugoro Yorozu virtually personified the idea of hybrid art: As Japan rushed toward modernization, he not only experimented with the very latest forms of Western art then flooding in, but re-examined aspects of Asian art being neglected.
Dec 6, 2016
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is acknowledged as one of the greats of the German Renaissance. His combination of religious piety and fleshly eroticism went on to inspire artists across the globe, including many in Japan. Despite his standing worldwide, however, Cranach's career and legacy have only now become the subject of a large-scale exhibition in this country.
Sep 20, 2016
The artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) was long considered a late and somewhat minor player in the Rimpa school, which emerged in Kyoto early in the Edo Period (1603-1868). The Suntory Museum of Art's current exhibition now re-evaluates Kiitsu's career and his contributions to this tradition. "Suzuki Kiitsu Standard Bearer of the Edo Rimpa School" brings together just over 200 works by the artist and those in his immediate circle.
Sep 13, 2016
Rapid, multilayered, fluid — the high-tech images created by Nam June Paik earned him the epithet the Father of Video Art. He may be most often associated with banks of television screens and intense, distorted video images, but as a new retrospective of his work at the Watarium (The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art) in Tokyo highlights, there was more to Paik's art than a fascination with technology.
Jun 28, 2016
May 10, 2016
For over three centuries the Medici family dominated Renaissance Florence and much of its economic, political and cultural life. In the arts, the wealthy family is largely remembered for its patronage of painting, sculpture and grand architecture, but a new exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum suggests that the objects most highly valued by the Medici were often those you could hold in the palm of your hand. "Gems and Jewellery of the Medici" introduces more than 70 objects from the family's collection, including rings, pendants and cameos as well as paintings showing how they were worn and the function they served — be it decorative, social or even political.
Jan 15, 2015
Though his paintings may not look radical to us today, in his time, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) often faced incomprehension — both through interpretations of his art and his own uncompromising stance toward it. Museumgoers in Japan now have a rare opportunity to decide for themselves the merits of his work, as the "James McNeill Whistler Retrospective" at the Yokohama Museum of Art is the first of its kind to be held in 20 years.
Aug 14, 2014
In the decades after Japan was forcibly opened to large-scale international trade in the early 1850s, a fever spread across Europe for items from the exotic country: its textiles, ceramics, paper fans, woodblock prints and more. Meanwhile, the term "Japonism" was coined to describe works made in Europe and the U.S. that incorporated motifs and aesthetic principles from the fresh new imagery that adorned such imported goods.
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