Soccer commentators, in their hyperbolic struggle to convey the excitement of the sport, sometimes refer to it as an art. This analogy isn’t totally offside, as there’s no denying the aesthetic element of a sport requiring so much strength, speed and coordination. But what happens when the kinetic art of soccer is expressed not by athletes on the pitch, but by painters or sculptors in static works of art?

This is the question asked by “Art Fever,” an odd but interesting touring exhibition organized by Adidas — and yet another sign of Japan’s mobilization for the World Cup finals.

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