Irina Kulik will briefly outline the history of Japanese art of the 20th and 21st centuries, tracing the interrelationship between its unique features and the visual aesthetics of the West.
From avant-garde and Modernism to contemporary practices—art historian Irina Kulik will focus on the most notable phenomena of Japan’s visual culture of the past century and a half.
Parallel to many radical movements that emerged in Europe early in the 20th century, Japan had its own versions of Dadaism (the MAVO group, founded by Tomoyoshi Murayama and Masamu Yanase in 1923) and Surrealism, that had a huge impact on an entire generation of artists, photographers and poets in the 1920s and 1930s. Standing separately was the figure of Tsuguharu Fujita, who lived in Paris for many years, closely communicating with Picasso, Matisse and other modernists, and whose oeuvre combined traditional techniques with Western plots and motifs. After World War II, Jiro Yoshihara and Shozo Shimamoto founded the Gutai group, that anticipated many pioneers of Western postwar art in promoting new media, such as performance, happening and conceptual practices.
In our days, Japanese art remains an integral part of the international scene, while maintaining its authenticity. Irina Kulik will concentrate on Yayoi Kusama whose works were on display at one of the exhibitions coinciding with Garage Museum’s move to the new building in June 2015, as well as a number of other prominent contemporary artists representing this country today.