Dutch painters cut from the same canvas

Art Feb 9, 2016

Dutch painters cut from the same canvas

The first noticeable thing about the exhibition "Vermeer and Rembrandt: the Masters of the 17th Century Dutch Golden Age" at the Mori Arts Center Gallery is the juxtaposition of the names. Vermeer's name comes before that of Rembrandt, marking him as the leading Dutch ...

Getting sentimental about the Pre-Raphaelites

Art Feb 2, 2016

Getting sentimental about the Pre-Raphaelites

Sometimes even provincial cities in the West seem to have much greater public art resources than Japan's capital. This is driven home by a video at the "Pre-Raphaelite and Romantic Painting from National Museums Liverpool" exhibition now on at Tokyo's Bunkamura The Museum. The video ...

The frayed edges of modern Japan

Art Jan 19, 2016

The frayed edges of modern Japan

In the Edo Period (1603-1868) and the years that followed, Japan made strenuous efforts to bring together its patchwork of feudal regions into a strongly centralized state with a unified culture. Accordingly, the nation now is one of the most homogenous in the world. ...

Smiling between the lines of ukiyo-e

Art Dec 15, 2015

Smiling between the lines of ukiyo-e

Some art collectors enjoy the eclectic, picking up art pieces opportunistically — even randomly — usually when they find something at the right price. Others have more streamlined tastes and focus on a theme or genre, building up more consistent collections. The result of both ...

Real beauty lies in rustic reality

Art Dec 8, 2015

Real beauty lies in rustic reality

French society and culture has always had a fascination with the exotic, going back to the Chinoiserie of the rococo period, the Orientalist fascination with the harems and slave markets of the Middle East, and the Japonisme of the 19th century. One might even ...

Monet's experiments meet his masterpieces

Art Oct 20, 2015

Monet's experiments meet his masterpieces

To anyone familiar with art exhibitions in Japan, it is clear that Impressionism is one of the most well-known and most-loved of all the "isms" and movements of Western art. The name of the movement is believed to have come from a 1872 painting ...

Usugrow feels the art of skulls in his bones

Art Oct 13, 2015

Usugrow feels the art of skulls in his bones

With shows four times a year, Diesel Art Gallery in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is one of the best free art venues in Tokyo and is well worth checking out. Located in the basement of the clothes brand shop, it puts on consistently good shows ...

The changing views of landscape painting

Art Sep 29, 2015

The changing views of landscape painting

There are many ways in which an art exhibition can make a positive impression, but the two main ones are through the quality of the artworks and the narrative that ties these together. The present exhibition at Bunkamura The Museum is rather weak on ...

There's a residual energy to Cai Guo-Qiang's explosive works

Art Aug 11, 2015

There's a residual energy to Cai Guo-Qiang's explosive works

Japanese artist Taro Okamoto once said, "Art is an explosion." This was despite the fact that his own works were carefully planned and developed, as the exhibition "Taro Okamoto's Paintings: From Impulse to Realization" at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art made clear back ...