Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s

October 19 – 22, 2019

Blum & Poe is pleased to present a selection of works by Yukie Ishikawa, Kazumi Nakamura, Kenjiro Okazaki, and Yukinori Yanagi. These four artists represent a larger generation of artists working in the 1980s and 1990s that some referred to as the Japanese New Wave, which developed alongside American and European Neo-Expressionism. Coming of age during a rich two-decade period that coincided with Japan's "bubble economy," the artists of this new era took up Japan's internalization of modernist practices as well as a critique of its own avant-garde histories, considered through new theories on painting, destabilization of national borders and boundaries, nonsensical humor via performances, and multimedia works in the mid-1990s. 

This presentation is inspired by the exhibition Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s, organized by Mika Yoshitake, which was on view in two parts at Blum & Poe Los Angeles from February-May 2019. Parergon featured a cross section of artistic practices that bridged the years between Mono-ha and the emergence of Neo-Pop, works that were created in the aftermath of the reconsideration of the object (spearheaded by Mono-ha during the 1970s), when the US and Europe were witnessing a return to Expressionism alongside a postmodern aesthetic of simulacra and deconstruction. This zeitgeist of cultural capitalism was instead manifest under Japan's unique social and geopolitical conditions, reflected in the visual and sonic creations of the collectives and countercultures that came to define the era.

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