Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nara Where Are Ya

Yoshitomo Nara. White Riot, 1995. Acrylic on cotton. H. 39 3/8 x W. 47 1/4 in. (100 x 120 cm). Aomori Museum of Art, 2597. Image courtesy of the artist. Via.

This week through August 27, internationally renowned Neo-Pop artist Yoshitomo Nara and Hideki Toyoshima of the design company graf host a free-of-charge open studio at the Park Avenue Amory. The two are working on a newly commissioned sculptural installation to be featured in Nara's gargantuan retrospective that opens after Labor Day at Asia Society.

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool
is Asia Society's first ever single-artist exhibition, filling every nook and cranny of their gorgeous Park Avenue digs with more than 100 works, encompassing decades of Nara's paintings, sculpture, drawings, and large-scale installations.

In an interview with Asia Society's museum director, Melissa Chiu, The New York Observer called Nara "the Roy Lichtenstein to Takashi Murkamai's Andy Warhol in the powerhouse Japanese pop movement." In the same article, Chiu explained why Nara now:
"We often think of Asian contemporary art as beginning in the 1970s, but really culminating in the 1990s. And I think [that's] one of the reasons why, right now, in the last five to six years, we've really started focusing on one-person shows. I think a lot of the artists have reached a degree of maturity and there [is] also more audience interest in seeing the work of Asian artists in depth and in focus and in comprehensive ways that you can address in a one-person show."
Reviewing the exhibition catalogue, Interview magazine writes: "In Japan, Nara's pieces—his cartoonish girls, often captioned with '70s punk lyrics—carry extra social weight that may be lost in translation elsewhere. His work gives a voice to a Japanese youth that is often silenced, reprimanded, or just plain ignored."

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's fool shows September 9, 2010-January 2, 2011, at Asia Society's New York Center.

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