R. D. Laing, the leading light of the 1960s anti-psychiatry movement, believed that mental illnesses were natural responses to the unnatural stresses and strains of modern life. Something similar can be said about Surrealist art, which, at times, seems like an artistic reaction to a world that throws images and ideas at us faster than we can handle. But Surrealism is not just a wild retort to modernity. Its styles and organization as a movement also owe a debt to traditional culture and society, as the exhibition “Ichiro Fukuzawa and his Disciples” shows.

Held at the Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, the show presents over 60 paintings and other works by a group of artists active before and after World War II. Although Fukuzawa’s name leads the way, only about 10 of the canvases are his. The vast majority of the works are by his so-called “disciples.”

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