This weekend, six Kansai-based national museums will come together to showcase a broad array of works from their contemporary European collections.

The participating galleries are Osaka City Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga; Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and The National Museum of Art, Osaka.

Among the featured artists will be Joseph Cornell (1903-72), who is best known for his intrepid and pioneering exploration of so-called assemblage art, a term which alludes to a technique where artists experiment with two- or three-dimensional objects by piling, patching or gluing them together to make them a single artwork that appears somewhat random. In Cornell’s case, he took advantage of such heterogeneity to create what looks like a treasure box filled with a pile of photographs, illustrations and beautiful antiques. While some assemblage practitioners prefer to use scrap items and garbage for their works, Cornell steered clear of these to avoid his pieces being branded “junk art.” Instead, he tried to project a poetic world view with his box.

As entries will come from six different museums, the collaborative art festival will allow visitors a comparative look at what each museum has to offer from the same artist.

A total of 80 pieces will be on display. Other highlighted artists include historically prominent painters such as Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, popular German photographer Thomas Struth, and figurative painter Luc Tuymans.

“Kansai Collections” will start at The National Museum of Art, Osaka, from April 6. Tickets cost ¥1,200. For more information, call (06) 6447-4680 or visit www.nmao.go.jp/en/index.html.

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