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Paris' Pompidou waves the flag of French art

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Seven decades of art history; one masterpiece for every year, each created by a different artist from France or closely connected with the country; and all from the collection of an iconic Paris art institution — that’s the premise of the current exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. “Masterpieces ...

Admiring the tarnished silver screen

Jun 28, 2016

Admiring the tarnished silver screen

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Old chewing gum, cheap carpet sticky from spilled drinks, sagging seats pitted with cigarette burns: Satoshi Chuma’s photographs of old cinemas on show at the National Film Center are fantastically evocative of the decline and fall of celluloid. Having spent several years working in ...

Newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook to be published in November

Jun 17, 2016

Newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook to be published in November

A sketchbook of drawings by Dutch post-impressionist master Vincent Van Gogh has been discovered and will be published in November, the French publisher Seuil announced Thursday. “This sketchbook was known only to the owners, myself and the publisher,” Seuil official Bernard Comment said, calling ...

Renoir's true colors could rescue him from the haters

Jun 14, 2016

Renoir's true colors could rescue him from the haters

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It’s been a few years since the last big Pierre-Auguste Renoir exhibition in town. The last one, if I remember correctly, was “Renoir: Tradition & Innovation” at the National Art Center Tokyo (NACT). That brought over the French impressionist’s “Dance at Bougival” (1883), an ...

Three artists wondering in the darkness

Jun 14, 2016

Three artists wondering in the darkness

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Hajime Sawatari is 76 and alone. He’s technically still married, but found that photography and chasing skirt didn’t sit well with being in a monogamous relationship. “I want to be free to photograph what I want. I’m very self-centered,” he tells me, disarmingly. In ...

Ryan McGinley: youth laid bare

Jun 7, 2016

Ryan McGinley: youth laid bare

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In 1980s America the art scene fawned over the infamous “Brat Pack” group of writers that included Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, Donna Tartt and Tama Janowitz. They portrayed American (privileged) youth in that decade like it was — with all their nitty gritty ...

Japan's conflicted art of World War II

Jun 7, 2016

Japan's conflicted art of World War II

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The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art’s current exhibition, “1945±5: The Works that Survived through the Turbulent and Reconstruction Era,” showcases modern Japanese art five years either side of the pivotal end of World War II. It addresses oil painting and mostly follows a conventional ...

Looking back on Cy Twombly

May 31, 2016

Looking back on Cy Twombly

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For “Cy Twombly Photographs: Lyrical Variations” Chiba Prefecture’s Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art brings together exactly 100 photographs, chronologically arranged to span the length of the artist’s career. A selection of prints, paintings and sculptures are also being shown, to be reconsidered in ...

A liberating walk through the woods

May 31, 2016

A liberating walk through the woods

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Painters and trees have a lot in common. Both are light-catchers: the painter looks at the world around him and tries to capture it, while a tree catches the light in order to grow. Trees are also part of the world that many artists ...

There's history in the making of these dolls

May 28, 2016

There's history in the making of these dolls

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An artist based in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido is in demand for her remarkably lifelike clay figurines of famous historical figures. Mika Takayama, 47, who lives in Sapporo, calls the 15-centimeter-tall figurines made of oven-bake clay chima chima ningyō (tiny little dolls). Takayama ...