Yuz Museum Shanghai, China
Yuz Museum Shanghai proudly announces a major survey exhibition of the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, following its debut at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Mainland China, as well as his first international retrospective. Organized by Yuz Museum and LACMA in close collaboration with the artist and the curator Mika Yoshitake, the exhibition will feature more than 70 major works, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, installations, and 700 works on paper including never-before-exhibited sketches, comprising a comprehensive overview of the artist’s prolific career spanning more than 37 years.
Yoshitomo Nara is among the most beloved artists of his generation, known for his portraits of vaguely ominous-looking figures with penetrating gazes and occasionally wielding knives or cigarettes, as well as heads and figures that float in dreamy landscapes. Nara’s oeuvre reflects the artist’s raw encounters with his inner self, taking inspiration from a wide range of resources—memories of his childhood, music, literature, studying and living in Germany (1988-2000), exploring his roots in Asia and Sakhalin, and modern art from Europe and Japan.
Born in 1959, Yoshitomo Nara grew up in Hirosaki, Aomori. Having graduated with an MFA from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, Nagakute, Japan, in 1987, he completed his studies at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1993. Nara began his career during the decade he spent in Cologne, and from the mid-1990s he exhibited widely in Europe, the United States, Japan, and all over Asia. His return to Japan in 2000 coincided with a surge of global interest in Japanese pop culture, particularly in the United States. While he is primarily a painter, his practice encompasses drawing; sculptures made of wood, FRP, ceramic, and bronze; installations that incorporate scrap materials; and photographs that document everyday landscapes and the encounters he has during his travels.
Edited by Mika Yoshitake
Accompanying the exhibition is a richly illustrated catalogue that features a foreword by LACMA director Michael Govan, an introductory essay by exhibition curator Mika Yoshitake, and a series of reviews by Nara, previously unpublished in English, of albums from the 1960s and '70s. Along with his most recognizable pieces, such as his ubiquitous portraits of wide-eyed figures on monochromatic backgrounds, readers will discover his earliest paintings, sketched on surfaces ranging from envelopes to cardboard made during his time in Germany, as well as an installation that recreates his drawing studio. His most recent works are also represented, including his large-scale bronze and ceramic figurines and portraits made following the 2011 earthquake that devastated Japan.
Hardcover, 224 pages
DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2020
9 x 12 inches