Mario A / 亜 真里男


Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (9/10)

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (8/10)


Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「After the Acid Rain」, 2006, Acrylic on canvas, 227 x 182 cm, Private collection, detail

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Wounded」, 2014, Acrylic and collage on canvas, 120 x 110 cm, Collection of Dan Aloni, Los Angeles

exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「夜まで待てない」(Can’t Wait ‘till the Night Comes) 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 197.0 x 182.5 cm, Private Collection

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 left: 「Dead of Night」2016, Acrylic on canvas, 100.5 x 91.0 cm, Private Collection, right: 「Midnight Surprise」2017, Acrylic on canvas, 130.0 x 116.5 cm, Collection of Lisa and Steven Tananbaum

see also:
Tananbaums endow curator position at Block Museum of Art
August 14, 2017, Chicago Tribune

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「White Night」2006, Acrylic on canvas, 162.5 x 130.0 cm, Collection of Leo Shih

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Sprout the Ambassador」2007, Acrylic on canvas, 117 x 91 cm, Private collection, Owned by Damgaard Company A/S

see also 「Sprout the Ambassador」from 2001 @ 8/10

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Sprout the Ambassador」2007, Acrylic on canvas, 117 x 91 cm, Private collection, Owned by Damgaard Company A/S, detail

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Miss Margaret」2016, Acrylic on canvas, 194 x 162 cm, The Rachofsky Collection


Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Midnight Truth」2017, Acrylic on canvas, 227.3 x 181.8 cm, Artist Collection

「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館の最後の作品。


But I do care.

Let’s turn back the wheel of time, and try to recapitulate what we see and hear in the video from 1995 @ Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. (37)
At the beginning of your career, still eager to get your works in the right context, we are listening to your fictional story about a blond girl, lying on the floor between flowers, - she could be your “Dorothy”. (38)

「オズの魔法使 THE WIZARD OF OZ」の”Dorothy”、「光の輪」

YOSHITOMO NARA: "Pacific Babies" at Blum & Poe

22 years ago you explained:

"She is sleeping. And where are her parents? (Nara shrugs his shoulders: 'we don't know')
She is sleeping. She continues to sleep.
But flowers are there.
Everything seems like happiness.
But she is sleepy (sleeping).

And, you know these words? “There is no place like home”, “There is no place like home” , “There is no place like home”….

screenshot from "YOSHITOMO NARA: "Pacific Babies" at Blum & Poe", 1995

Very famous poem in America.
She is like Dorothy.
She is dreaming.
When she (will) wake up, she will get everything.
We have to hope (?), (that) she will wake up.

Nara pointing to "The Longest Night" (1995) painting.
Blum: "That Roger …. ? “The longest night”"
Nara: He is not so sleepy, but he has no place to going to.
Why he is rambling?
“With light and long shoes” means 不安 (fuan /anxiety)
He has to go rambling.

I have two brothers.
Elder brothers.
10 and 9 years older.

And that’s why, when I was a child, I couldn’t play with my brothers. And there also were no children with same age.
I was very alone.
But I had cats and dogs and sheeps.
Because I was living in the country side. North part of Japan. You can see the border between Japan and Russia.

Through my childhood I can see now."

The other protagonist, you as a young boy, is rambling around in the night and has no place to go. No home. (Work: 長い長い長い夜」(The Longest Night) 1995)
At this moment, you give us a hint about the film “The Longest Night” from 1972 (39) in which a kidnapper holds a young girl underground in a homemade coffin.
(Hint @「Untitled」1988 in Room No.4 ?)

You're mentioning two elder brothers, 9 and 10 years older than you.

I will now go a bit further, and assume that you experienced in your childhood a horrible traumatic incident. The following sentence is of speculative character, too, therefore be read as a hypothetical, fictional conclusion.

You experienced a kidnapping of a (blond) girl who had been threatened with a knife.
(I will refrain from further speculations regarding sexual violence.)

screenshot from "YOSHITOMO NARA: "Pacific Babies" at Blum & Poe", 1995

This could explain your works with the girl on the floor and the work about a face of a “girl” and a “knife”:
“Silent violence”.

screenshot from "YOSHITOMO NARA: "Pacific Babies" at Blum & Poe", 1995

Your works: "I can’t Say the Reason Why Tears Fall from the Eyes Now." (1988), "where is my childhood?" (1995), “No one knows” (2006).

Last but not least, to take your written words literally again, we wonder what you meant in the Room No.4 with “Death or Glory” for 2017.
Either you will “commit suicide” or “live in glory”?
Dead tomorrow, 'cause you feel like a prisoner of your own wished successful artist’s career?
It’s no secret that neither “death” nor “glory” exist in the internationally oriented contemporary art world of Japan.
We artists in Japan are just fulfilling a hallucinatory trap made by art universities, art colleges, art schools; - with no one's responsibility, neither from the society's nor the political world's nor the mass-media's side.
Glory in Japan exists "only" for artists with a "Japanese passport", who, in a stringent context, conscientiously chose the macho-hierarchic, non-emancipated world of elite-art-groups. In becoming suit and necktie wearing members of "NITTEN" 日本美術展覧会(日展 / 公益社団法人日展), "INTEN" 日本美術院 (院展 / 公益財団法人日本美術院), the "Japan Art Academy" 日本芸術院 etc..., they apply to the notion of old-fashioned, conformist "Sensei-tachi" (先生), who damaged Japanese art practice and still, in the long run, are occupying, influencing art education in schools. (40)

In short, our Japanese society, through tax-payers’ money, gives “honor” and “glory” only to artists who are patriotic, endorse the “Tenno-system” (天皇制)and execute aesthetically beautiful works.
Prime Minister's Award (内閣総理大臣賞), Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister's Award(文部科学大臣賞)and Order of Culture(文化勲章)are all related to the status quo in conservative Japanese politics and their affiliation to the "Tenno-system"(天皇制). (41)

These 'glorious' artists, aka "sensei-tachi", are receiving our taxpayers' money and/or pension money from the state, - the Japan Art Academy members, the senior "NITTEN" and "INTEN" members, like the Nihonga painter Yuji Murakami (村上裕二), brother of your so-called half-brother Takashi.
And here lies the crux of the structural anomaly of the contemporary art world in Japan:
Takashi Murakami endorses publicly his brother, Prime Minister's Prize Recipient "Murakami Yuji Sensei"(2016年の内閣総理大臣顕彰受賞者村上裕二), a recipient at the young age of 52. (42)

Der coole Rebell Yoshitomo Nara.
Blitzkrieg auf Japanisch. Geil.
The ‘Jim Morrison’ in Japan’s contemporary art world.
Fuck’ya bro, you rock!
YOU are a punk rocker now.

亜 真里男

補遺 (1) - (42) @ Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (10/10)。

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (8/10)

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (7/10)


The titles of your works are referring to iconic songs/music groups which embody individualistic spirit inherent in Western rock and pop culture.

I tried hard, but couldn’t put these divergent music titles’ puzzles together neither. Each music/work title, as a juxtaposition to the painting itself, had been diabolically or subtly integrated as a personal element of reference for you towards Western music/life-style culture. The similarities to Richard Prince’s creative appropriation process, overlapping layers of “high” and “low” art with exclusively American pop-rock music came into my mind. In this context we can continue name dropping with artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat or novelists like Haruki Murakami. (36)

Hesitating in jumping on that waggon of coincidences, too, I decided to lead the road of allegorical writing towards "Shonen Knife". Which, at the end, obviously, in the final conclusion of these 30 years of artistic practice, doesn’t give the reader any satisfactory explanation at all.

Perhaps, time will tell, when someone else tries to de-code your works of 30 years in a more analytical, academic way, the light in the tunnel towards "the dark world of Nara" transcends beyond the limits of your abstract de-contextualization.

In the meantime, I have the feeling, you don't care.

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (9/10)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Fountain of Life」2001/04 Lacquer and urethane on FRP, motor, and water 175 x ⌀180 cm, Collection of Petch Osathanugrah

Twitter yoshitomo nara‏ @michinara3 5:00 PM - 16 Jul 2017
第7室。ここは涼しそう。 #夏の豊田市美術館

exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Sayon」2006, Acrylic on canvas, 146.0 x 112.5 cm, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Missing in Action」, 1999, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 145 cm, Private collection, Courtesy of Delahunty Fine Art

Arcade Longplay [645] M.I.A.: Missing in Action

比較 @ Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (6/10)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Missing in Action - Girl Meets Boy -」2005, Acrylic, colored pencil and water color on paper, 150 x 137 cm, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
(NARA GIRL?、村上・奈良「異母兄弟」?)

Instagram michinara3" missing in action - girl meets boy" (2005) from Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. a girl meets a "little boy" = is the code name of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. the explosion is reflected on her right eye.

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「M.I.A.」2016, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 91 cm, Private Collection
(NARA GIRL?、NARA BOY?、村上・奈良「異母兄弟」?)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Sprout the Ambassador」, 2001, Acrylic on canvas, 208.3 x 198.1 cm, Private collection

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Heads」, 1998, Acrylic, lacquer and cotton on FRP, 6P/11 x 12 x 8 cm, 1P/10 x 12 x 8 cm, Aomori Museum of Art

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Heads」, 1998, Acrylic, lacquer and cotton on FRP, 6P/11 x 12 x 8 cm, 1P/10 x 12 x 8 cm, Aomori Museum of Art, detail

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Hula Hula Dancing」, 1998, Acrylic on canvas, 190 x 180 cm, Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation

exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「No Means No」, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 131 x 97 cm, Private collection

Story - Bloodthirsty Butchers


bloodthirsty butchers『banging the drum』

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「春少女」(Miss Spring), 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 227 x 182 cm, Yokohama Museum of Art

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Blankey」, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 194.8 x 162 cm, Private collection

exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「After the Acid Rain」, 2006, Acrylic on canvas, 227 x 182 cm, Private collection

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (7/10)

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (6/10)


奈良さんが作ったTOYOTA MOTORS MIX。彼は故意に最後の45曲目としてボブ・ディランの伝説的名曲「時代は変る」を選び、その歌詞を読んでみましょう (31):

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon

For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin' who that it’s namin'
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’


"Come writers and critics, Who prophesize with your pen, And keep your eyes wide, The chance won’t come again"

Well, fact is, there weren't any eye-opening critical reviews in the Japanese newspapers. Most texts, the Asahi and Yomiuri included, read like a summary of the press release and the sound bites by Nara. The approach by Mutsumi Morita 森田睦 in the Yomiuri with the music context had the right impetus, but unfortunately switched towards that questionable “Buddha-thing”. (32) The way, how the Japanese newspapers treated Nara’s exhibition can be analyzed as a not very promising status quo of Japanese art criticism/journalism regarding contemporary art.

Now I’ll speak directly to Nara-san.
Your words one week ago, on 13th of September 2017 via Twitter: 「日本ではもう回顧展的なのはやらないから。」(33)
So, let’s sum up your last big exhibition in Japan, a once-in-a-lifetime chance of showing 30 years of art practice in full swing.
It was a risky project which you "creatively curated" by investing a lot of time, energy and money to contact museums and collectors around the world and asking them to lend your works, their valuable trophies to the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art.
We don't know how many refused, the reasons may be too complicate to understand.
As the catalogue was not ready at the Vernissage, and is neither today, we might guess there were some troubles going on.
The website of the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art mentions today that the catalogue will not be published, as announced earlier, end of this September (the show closes in four days, the 24th), but end of October. Well, Mr. President Trump would call this a “disaster”.
We can only guess, from the audience's point of view, by wandering a bit bored (= only a few eye-catching works) through the last "empty-feeling" rooms of the show, that you might also not be satisfied with the outcome at all. And here explicitly appears the structural weak-point of this exhibition, which “played safe”, actually lacks a new boundary-pushing, inspiring concept and a Grande Finale.
Some important pieces, for example from the Rubell (the lovely “Too Young to Die”) or Takahashi Collections, the "Shallow Puddles" series, “THE LITTLE PILGRIMS”, “Miss Forest”, “Dog” related works like the marvelous “Dogs from Your Childhood”, and last but not least the strong works related to "NO NUKES" and "NO WAR" are missing.
One of the most important functions of being an artist, is to give the audience something to be “critical” about. The last thing we hesitate to hear, after the event is over, that the artist had been experiencing censorship from the side of the museum or the municipal office or from a kind of sponsor, like a car maker named TOYOTA.

You consider yourself as an artist who’s emphasizing in getting the audience being involved into your works. However, we wonder if we were ever able to understand your true feelings, as proven, explicitly, via Murakami's Facebook entry on 2017/7/17:

When we, from children to elderlies, make efforts to analyze your allegorical paintings, sculptures and installation works, by writing down our questionable, hypothetical conclusions.
As Murakami wrote in his last sentence of his commentary on Facebook, he engaged us, the audience, to see your historical exhibition from a new different perspective.


By trying so, again, new mysterious metaphors appeared, superimposing our one-sided information with an augmented reality. At the start of the exhibition, in the Rooms No.1 and No.2, you are showing us paintings with a young woman of blond hair. She could be a British, or a Russian, an “Alien” as you wrote on "Untitled" from 1988, in Room No.4. The obvious appearance of the protagonist as a Caucasian character. благодарюбольшое спасибо.

This fair-haired woman could be a Christian as well (various hints), further on, we may conclude through your paintings and drawings, that two of her children passed away. “Unter Himmel” could be misspelled and meant to be “im Himmel”, which translates into: they are dead. Either by accident, or through abortion or via other circumstances.
Another mysterious question came up through the (Arabic?) ship at the harbor, the departure for Africa?, a kind of separation from a beloved one with blond hair?

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (8/10)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智+graf 「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」2006, Mixed media, 476 x 354 x 495 cm, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, exhibition view

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智+graf 右側:「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」2006, Mixed media, 476 x 354 x 495 cm, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Lonely Moon / Voyage of the Moon」2006, Acrylic on cotton mounted on FRP, ⌀180 x 26 cm, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 左側:「Girl on the Boat」1994, Acrylic on curved wood, 52 x 15 x 30 cm, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智+graf 「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」2006, Mixed media, 476 x 354 x 495 cm, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 入り口

inside「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」
「オズの魔法使 THE WIZARD OF OZ」に注目

オズの魔法使(The Wizard of Oz) - Part 1

Pinocchio @「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」


イエス・キリストの磔刑 Crucifixion of Jesus Christ に注目

左側に注目:オズの魔法使 ジュディ・ガーランド THE WIZARD OF OZ Judy Garland

オズの魔法使(The Wizard of Oz) - Part 2

"Fuckin' Town"

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智+graf 「Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon」2006, Mixed media, 476 x 354 x 495 cm, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, detail, inside the installation work
“FOREVER ALONE” + “No one knows”

"Kanazawa Moon MIX" + "rats"
see also 参照:奈良さんの文章:"LIKE A RAT I have a single strong power that will never be defeated"
Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術 (2/10)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Girl on the Boat」1994, Acrylic on curved wood, 52 x 15 x 30 cm, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art
(奈良 GIRL ?、「少年ナイフ・ママ」"Shonen Knife Mama”?)、船、港、名古屋?、海外へ行ってしまった?

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Emergency」2013, Acrylic on wood, 201 x 186 x 9 cm, Artist Collection
奈良 GIRL、負傷者

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「FROM THE BOMB SHELTER」2017, Acrylic on jude mounted wood, 185.5 x 21 x 9 cm, Artist Collection
(奈良 GIRL、奈良BOY、奈良さん?)

yoshitomo nara‏ @michinara3 1:55 PM - 6 Aug 2017
広島の少女を描いた絵の他に、長崎の少女を描いた「from the bomb shelter」という新作もあります。 #夏の豊田市美術館

The Wizard of Oz: Cyclone Clip


Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Home」2017, Acrylic on jude mounted wood, 185.5 x 21 x 9 cm, Artist Collection
奈良 GIRL、家、猫




毎日新聞2017年9月19日 20時34分(最終更新 9月19日 23時41分)




Protesters gather in front of Diet 2 years after adoption of security laws
September 20, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)

Protesters gathered in front of the National Diet Building on Sept. 19, the two year anniversary since the passage of contentious national security laws, to call for their abolition.
The demonstration was led by the group "Senso sasenai, kyujo kowasuna! Sogakari kodo jikko iinkai" (Committee for all-out action: No war, don't destroy Article 9!). Some 10,500 people were on hand for the event, according to the group. Lawmakers from opposition parties and members of citizens groups gripped the microphone, saying, "It's Prime Minister Abe who raised the risk for war," and "Dissolving the lower house (House of Representatives) is just for his own benefit."
Making reference to the school-operator scandals with Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Educational Institution, protesters also raised their voices against the government "covering up suspicions" with the dissolution of the lower chamber at the start of the Diet's extraordinary session. Demonstrators stressed the need for a united-front among opposition parties ahead of the upcoming election.
"With threats from North Korea escalating, Prime Minister Abe is trying to monopolize on the fear of citizens in calling this election," said Hosei University professor Jiro Yamaguchi in a meeting ahead of the protest. "If he dissolves the lower house without debate in the chamber, it's a reckless act that negates the role of the Diet."
"I feel like our servility to the United States strengthened with (the adoption of) the security laws," said 28-year-old university student Yuichiro Sakai, who participated in the demonstration in front of the Diet building. "It's the same with the timing of this election. I don't think he is considering the citizens of Japan at all."



国民の声 3・11〜
ところが驚いたことに、8月31日に、読売新聞と産経新聞は、そのニュースを一面に報道しませんでした。つまり、読売と産経は、我が国の歴史を客観的見解として受け取ろうとしませんでした。まさしく、日本の報道メディアを巡り、不祥事、反民主主義な態度の現れです。読売と産経の新聞一面問題に関しての証拠は、私の「国民の声 3・11〜」の本にも記録しています。

「国民の声 3・11〜」#9 ー #22 (2017年9月17日)

Got the permission to take this photograph for the web.


アーティスティック・ディレクター アダム・シムジックがドクメンタを破産させた (アップデート2)

Adam Szymczyk Led documenta to (the Brink of) Bankruptcy
アーティスティック・ディレクター アダム・シムジックがドクメンタを破産させた
up-date 1 2017年9月14日:
up-date 2 2017年9月19日:


2017/9/16, via:

A statement by the artists of documenta 14

On the emancipatory possibility of decentered exhibitions

We the undersigned artists, writers, musicians, and researchers who participated in various chapters of the current documenta 14—Exhibition, Parliament of Bodies, South as a State of Mind, Listening Space, Keimena, Studio 14, An Education, EMST collection, and Every Time A Ear di Soun—wish to share some thoughts about the possibilities and potential of documenta. Firstly, we acknowledge those participants in documenta 14 whom we have not been able to reach at the time of writing, those with whom we could not get to consensus, those participants no longer living, and especially those who passed away while participating in documenta 14. We write this in the context of the invitation of “Learning from Athens,” and the idea of first unlearning the familiar. We also take note of documenta’s specific history as a response to the evil of the Second World War and the Holocaust. We see that initial, painful legacy evolving toward an imaginative and discursive space that can contribute toward challenging war capitalism, unjust borders, and ecological suicide.

The initial iterations of documenta rose in the shadow of rebuilding, after a World War that caused Adorno to disavow a future for poetry. From the 1990s, the exhibition joined a global turn toward decentering the Western art-historical canon, by beginning to emancipate institutions, venues, and universities. There was a welcome, and overdue, acceleration of the presence of artists, theorists, and thinkers from the Global South, starting from documenta 10 (Catherine David), continuing through documenta 11 (Okwui Enwezor), documenta 12 (Roger Buergel / Ruth Noack), and documenta 13 (Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev). documenta also began a spatial decentering, initiated by documenta 11 with platforms in Berlin, Vienna, New Delhi, St. Lucia, and Lagos. This was followed by documenta 12 magazine, a network of 100 magazines world-wide, and documenta 13, with satellite projects in Kabul, Alexandria, and Banff. It is in line with documenta’s long heritage of decentering, and decolonizing, that we welcomed the decision to launch documenta 14 as a dialogue between Athens and Kassel.

documenta 14’s Athens chapter began a full two years before the official opening, with the launch of the South as a State of Mind journal in 2015, the weekly public program Parliament of Bodies in 2016, and finally, the opening of documenta 14 | Athens in April 2017, two months before Kassel. documenta 14’s curatorial team worked to encourage autonomous spaces, free of authoritative statements or frameworks. However, criticism appeared immediately, focusing on budget and infrastructure, with far less attention paid to the artworks, journal, radio, public TV, live music, education, and public programs. A few critics did raise some points that were also being debated among the artists and curators. One of those centered on the challenges of working with local communities in an environment of equality and partnership, while working within large exhibition infrastructures. Another question was whether large exhibitions are the best venue for breaking down discursive hegemonies. documenta 14 had a shared commitment to preserving the autonomy of local spaces and communities, and conducting conversations around culture within a dynamic of mutual exchange, respect, and curiosity.

Recently, criticisms of documenta 14 have been expanded to suggest that a deficit in the operating budget is primarily due to the Athenian chapter of documenta. We are concerned about this urge to put ticket sales above art, and we believe that Arnold Bode would have rejected this as distorting the purpose for which he gifted documenta to Kassel. We applaud the decision by documenta 14 to not charge ticket prices in Athens. We should also consider the responsibility to address the economic war fought by European institutions against the Greek population, during the recent debt crisis. We feel that casting a false shadow of criticism and scandal over documenta 14 does a disservice to the work that the artistic director and his team have put into this exhibition. Shaming through debt is an ancient financial warfare technique; these terms of assessment have nothing to do with what the curators have made possible, and what the artists have actually done within this exhibition.

What should be highlighted are the positive impacts of exchanges within documenta, including the decentering that occurred through the exhibition.This has caused a creative friction that is an active dialogue between citizens, communities, and institutions of Athens, Kassel, and the rest of the world. This is only a first step, and conversation must continue in coming years. In fact, more such moves of dislocation from comfort zones, and inclusion of multiplicity of voices, many standing outside of western hegemony, should be the future. What we do not need is a neoliberal logic, as well as its institutional critique, that does not allow the possibility of alternative methods, stories, and experiences.

One aspect that makes documenta remarkable is its support of large numbers of artists who are not represented by commercial galleries, and in fact work in non-material, ephemeral, and social practices. Many come from regions and countries still underrepresented in major art events. Naturally, many of the works produced here very consciously suggested proposals for equality and solidarity. We understood this exhibition to be a listening documenta. The curatorial team took care to listen closely and carefully to artists, rather than imposing a top-down curatorial will. The exhibition tried to be inclusive, as well as specific, emphasizing people and stories from the so-called periphery, and voices belonging to those who have faced, and overcome, hardship. Whether in crisis or inflection point, enquiry was encouraged, challenging the more frequent move of wanting to own other peoples’ understanding. The curatorial innovation was to create the space for such an encounter, in Athens and Kassel.

There are many interventions, by the artistic director and curatorial team, which brought together new configurations and dialogue between generations of artists, much of which is invisible to the critics. Also crucial has been the displaying of rare historic material, some of it centuries old and from all parts of the world, some of which has never been displayed in a museum. By commissioning new work in dialogue with centuries-old heritage, new alliances were created across territories and times. The juxtaposition of stories from all over the globe can be disorienting, but that is precisely the point of the structure of this exhibition. Large gestures have to be measured alongside hundreds of small ones to make a complex whole, all going towards globalizing the art historical canon. The challenge for all of us—artists, critics, and audiences—has been to experience that complexity, while subjected to practical economic constraints. We need to think of more economically egalitarian ways of viewing a large exhibition, while resisting the dominant narrative that is singularity (“the Athens model”) over complexity (what actually happened in Athens and Kassel).

documenta was founded as a brave response to a dark history. The 1933 Nazi regime received support from Nuremberg and Kassel, because of the presence of the arms industries. On February 11, 1933, eleven days after taking power, Hitler spoke at the Friedrichsplatz in Kassel. On November 7, 1938, two days before Kristallnacht in other German cities began, Kassel and surrounding villages saw anti-Jewish pogroms. In archival footage of trains carrying people to concentration camps, the insignia “Deutsche Reichsbahn Kassel” is visible on some carriages. After 1945, in order to erase this Nazi legacy, Nuremberg hosted war crimes trials, and, ten years later, Kassel hosted the first documenta. Kassel’s central Friedrichsplatz was bifurcated, so that no spatial trace of the 1933 rally remains. In light of this unique founding history, documenta’s unique mission has always been, and must continue to be, encouraging conversations in the contemporary arts that can oppose the spectres of nationalism, neo-nazism, and fascism that are still haunting the planet.

The world has transformed many times over since 1955. Western Europe is no longer the center of contemporary exhibition making. It is being challenged to take its place as one among equals, as Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Southern and Eastern Europe come forward to claim their presence. The current documenta continues the arc of the previous four documentas, by highlighting the edges of Europe, the voices of Global South realities, and the presences that press against heteronormativity. Receiving the world, as equals, contrary to anxieties, also contributes to radiance. The contemporary arts no longer looks toward a European exhibition to lead the way in ideas about what art can do, and what it should do. However, Kassel does exercise influence in contemporary art discussions that are emerging from many locations (Bamako, Beirut, Bucharest, Cairo, Dakar, Gwangju, Havana, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kochi, Ljubljana, Mexico City, Moscow, New Orleans, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sharjah, Warsaw, Zagreb, and numerous others). We ask the documenta supervisory board to vigorously defend the curatorial team’s vision of documenta 14, and future curatorial teams to continue to make exhibitions that are accessible to all, and that decenter art history, challenge war and nationalism, and fight against the poisoning of the planet.



1) Aboubakar Fofana
2) Achim Lengerer
3) Agnes Denes
4) Ahlam Shibli
5) Aki Onda
6) Akio Suzuki
7) Akinbode Akinbiyi
8) Alessandra Pomarico
9) Alexandra Bachzetsis
10) Alvin Lucier
11) Amar Kanwar
12) Amelia Jones
13) Anca Daučíková
14) Andreas Angelidakis
15) Andreas Kasapis
16) Andrew Feinstein
17) Andrius Arutiunian
18) Angela Dimitrakaki
19) Angela Melitopoulos
20) Angelo Plessas
21) Angela Ricci Lucchi
22) Anna Papaeti
23) Anna Sorokovaya
24) Annie Vigier
25) Annie Sprinkle
26) Anthony Burr
27) Anton Lars
28) Antonio Negri
29) Antonio Vega Macotela
30) Apostolos Georgiou
31) Arin Rungjang
32) Artur Zmijewski
33) Ashley Hans Scheirl
34) Athena Katsanevaki
35) Banu Cennetoglu
36) Ben Russell
37) Beth Stephens
38) Bonita Ely
39) Boris Baltschun
40) Boris Buden
41) Bouchra Khalili
42) Brett Neilson
43) Cana Bilir-Meier
44) Cecilia Vicuna
45) Christina Kubisch
46) Christos Chondropoulos
47) Click Ngwere
48) Colin Dayan
49) Conrad Steinmann
50) Constantinos Hadzinikolaou
51) Dan Peterman
52) Daniel Garcia Andújar
53) Daniel Knorr
54) David Harding
55) David Lamelas
56) David Schutter
57) David Scott
58) Debbie Valencia
59) Denise Ferreira da Silva
60) Dimitris Papanikolaou
61) Dimitris Parsanoglou
62) Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat)
63) Edi Hila
64) EJ McKeon
65) Elisabeth Lebovici
66) Elle Marja Eira
67) Emanuele Braga
68) Emeka Ogboh
69) Emily Jacir
70) Eric Alliez
71) Eva Stefani
72) Evelyn Wangui Gichuhi
73) Feben Amara
74) Franck Apertet
75) Franco “Bifo” Berardi
76) Ganesh Haloi
77) Gauri Gill
78) Geeta Kapur
79) Gert Platner
80) Geta Bratescu
81) Gordon Hookey
82) Guillermo Galindo
83) Guillermo Gomez-Pena
84) Hans D) Christ
85) Hans Eijkelboom
86) Hans Haacke
87) Hiwa K
88) Ibrahim Mahama
89) Ibrahim Quraishi
90) Irena Haiduk
91) Iris Dressler
92) Itziar González Virós
93) Jack Halberstam
94) Jan St) Werner
95) Jakob Ullmann
96) Jess Ballinger-Gómez
97) Joana Hadjithomas
98) Joar Nango
99) Johan Grimonprez
100) Jonas Broberg
101) Jonas Mekas
102) Josef Schreiner
103) Joulia Strauss
104) Katalin Ladik
105) Kettly Noël
106) Lala Meredith-Vula
107) Lassana Igo Diarra
108) Lenio Kaklea
109) Lois Weinberger
110) Lucien Castaing-Taylor
111) Lukas Rickli (Kukuruz Quartet)
112) Macarena Gomez-Barris
113) Magali Arriola
114) Manthia Diawara
115) Maret Anne
116) Maria Eichhorn
117) Maria Hassabi
118) Maria Iorio
119) Marianna Maruyama
120) Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci
121) Marina Gioti
122) Marta Minujin
123) Mary Zygouri
124) Mata Aho Collective
125) Mattin
126) Michel Auder
127) Mike Crane
128) Miriam Cahn
129) Molly McDolan
130) Mounira Al Solh
131) Moyra Davey
132) Naeem Mohaiemen
133) Nairy Baghramian
134) Narimane Mari
135) Nathan Pohio
136) Neil Leonard
137) Nelli Kambouri
138) Neni Panourgiá
139) Nevin Aladag
140) Niels Coppens
141) Nikhil Chopra
142) Niklas Goldbach
143) Nikolay Oleynikov (Chto Delat)
144) Nilima Sheikh
145) Nomin bold
146) Olaf Holzapfel
147) Olga Tsaplya Egorova (Chto Delat)
148) Otobong Nkanga
149) Oxana Timofeeva (Chto Delat)
150) Panos Alexiadis
151) Peaches Nisker
152) Piotr Uklanski
153) Panos Charalambous
154) Pavel Braila
155) Pélagie Gbaguidi
156) Peter Friedl
157) Philip Bartels
158) Philipp Gropper
159) Prinz Gholam
160) Prodromos Tsinikoris
161) Ralf Homann
162) Raphaël Cuomo
163) Rasha Salti
164) Rasheed Araeen
165) Raven Chacon
166) Rebecca Belmore
167) Regina José Galindo
168) R) H) Quaytman
169) Rick Lowe
170) Roee Rosen
171) Roger Bernat
172) Rosalind Nashashibi
173) Ross Birrell
174) Samia Zennadi
175) Samnang Khvay
176) Sanchayan Ghosh
177) Sandro Mezzadra
178) Sanja Ivekovic
179) Sarah Washington
180) Serdar Kazak
181) Serge Baghdassarians
182) Sergio Zevallos
183) Shu Lea Cheang
184) Simon(e) Jaikriuma Paetau
185) Simone Keller
186) Sokol Beqiri
187) Stanley Whitney
188) Stathis Gourgouris
189) Stratos Bichakis
190) Suely Rolnik
191) Susan Hiller
192) Synnøve Persen
193) Taras Kovach
194) Thais Guisasola
195) Tracey Rose
196) Theo Eshetu
197) Ulrich Schneider
198) Ulrich Wüst
199) Valentin Roma
200) Vasyl Cherepanyn
201) Verena Paravel
202) Vijay Prashad
203) Virginie Despentes
204) Vivian Suter
205) Wang Bing
206) What How and for Whom (WHW)
207) William pope)l
208) Yael Davids
209) Yervant Gianikian
210) Zafos Xagoraris
211) Zoe Mavroudi
212) Zonayed Saki

Image: documenta 14 artists preparing to perform Jani Christou's "Epicycle" (1968) at opening of documenta 14 press conference in Athens, Megaron, 6 April, 2017. Image: Mathias Völzke.

Comment by:

I am not sure about the connections and the affiliations that this letter makes. Why this is suddenly the right moment for artists to come together?

Two days ago, I received an invitation to a group that it is called artists of d14, which included less than a quarter of the participant artists. I was asked to edit and sign a letter when it was made very clear by those few who already had decided to write this letter its due date and its moment of urgency. Perhaps these are details for some of you reading my statement but for me those details, the creation of urgency to an issue, and its content is what I understand as the political;

For those who think that processes of relations and exchange happen just when something interesting is written or someone is proposing something and can only be signed or followed perhaps she/he is not aware of the complexity of the subject which is that of politics.

Unfortunately I must say that these forgotten details, discussions, calls for exchange and dialogue were the beginning of the creation of the mistrust in regard to this particular ambitious exhibition d14. An exhibition that claimed continuously its horizontal, non-hierarchical character without any ambition to actually organize as such. On top of that this was actively wanted to take shape in Athens, a city that self-organized places and forms of solidarity are in every neighborhood, already realized, analyzed, criticized. The struggles for simple basic things happen in the every day, on the streets, in the houses, in actual relationships and in the ongoing friendships.

Why we (the artists) had the need to repeat what the curators have already said previously on their statement? I really don't understand what exactly this letter brings from the side of the artists regarding d14 and why now artists need to sign a letter of this nature. Do we write the letter to save documenta as an institution, to restore the reputation of its current curators and why do we need now to do that? Isn't it that our position as artists needed to be presented in this letter and at the same time to imply and reflect on another level regarding this whole absurdity of the markets and its implications to politics at large instead of being pressed to take sides?

My participation to d14 cost me a lot in regard to how I place myself and my work in connection to the left radical political milieu locally and internationally and in the artistic local scene here in Athens, the city I was born, I invest emotionally, intellectually and materially. I lost friends and I didn't make any new ones through this exhibition and that will take time to be restored. I didn't make any money out of this exhibition and my life wasn't improved. Still I don't regret that my work was presented in d14 and my respect to the curators and participants hasn't changed. On the other hand I cannot play politics on a terrain that I wasn't included. I was invited to present my work. My decision for my work to be part of this d14 in Athens and in Kassel, my thoughts and positions cannot be generalized in a letter and in a signature. The open public dialogue of the artists and the "team" of documenta never happened and I was never part on the making of the exhibition so my signature can't be on a letter that brings misunderstandings in regard to my role in this show and implies an assumed dialogue when such thing never occurred. Calling for decentralized institutions, is to actively aim to create them. Their political independency is accomplished through the variety of the peoples’ positions who solidify it.

I was hoping for an invitation of reflection, conversation and exchange to happen but not as a reaction, or in the occasion of the closing of the exhibition but because we actually cared to learn from each other and to learn something from Athens.

It is very unfortunate that I cannot sign this letter that could resolve in a solidarity gesture to fellow artists but I cannot sign a text that I cannot support its petition-like format even if I fully respect those who sign it and the curators and everyone who made d14 exist.

Georgia Sagri
(participant artist of d14)

Response by "d14artistsletter" to Georgia Sagri:

The open letter begins with the sentence:

"Firstly, we acknowledge those participants in documenta 14 whom we have not been able to reach at the time of writing, those with whom we could not get to consensus, those participants no longer living, and especially those who passed away while participating in documenta 14."

By writing "whom we have not been able to reach at the time of writing," we publicly acknowledge that a letter initiated with only three days notice before going public will not be able to reach everyone due to practical limits. We gathered emails of our fellow documenta 14 participants via networks of friendship, since there is no central location or office for us, and we are scattered across numerous time zones of the world. Within those limits, 130 signed the letter by September 16 when we released the letter on e-flux, and another 82 signed by September 18 after reading the letter. This hints at the possibility of a kinship that was built up over the last two years such that, in spite of challenges, errors, and mismatches that are inevitable in a project this size, there is a basic solidarity between artists and the documenta 14 team—such that we support each other, and also learn from mistakes, together.

However, we acknowledge that not everyone's experiences and sentiments are the same, and we signal that divergence of opinion when we also write, in that same opening sentence, "those with whom we could not get to consensus." This is an acknowledgment that not every participant may feel the same way, and we don't wish to impose any solidarity on anyone else. Anyone is free to dissent from the sentiments expressed in this letter, in whatever way they choose.


(Interesting compilation of New York Times critics writing about Documenta from 1972-2017)

Jason Farago‏ @jsf
On this last day of Documenta 14, a thread: The New York Times's art critics on your show of shows from 1972 to 2017


“I can imagine you (reading these words) into being”: The documenta 14 Reader
by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve
The documenta 14 Reader, Quinn Latimer and Adam Szymczyk, Eds. (Prestel, 2017)
At one point in his introduction to The documenta 14 Reader, curator Adam Szymczyk refers briefly to Artaud’s “theater and its double.” Since Documenta’s most recent iteration wraps up its showing this month in both Athens and Kassel, his off-hand allusion most likely privileges the “double” in the phrase. However, it is also worth reading Artaud’s introduction and essay “The Theater and the Plague” to understand Artaud’s importance to Szymczyk’s project. There, one finds a deep connection between Artaud’s acerbic attack on “disinterested [European] theater” and Szymczyk’s curatorial mission. Both seek to lance the abscesses of European culture (a notion which Artaud called “first of all a protest” in his essay) and produce from the pus and pain art that witnesses and, at its best, protests. Where and how Szymczyk’s double-headed Documenta is successful at this is a judgment up to those who have travelled to both Athens and Kassel. For the rest of us, we turn to reviews and the exhibition’s “catalogue”—The documenta 14 Reader. Fortunately for us, editors Szymczyk and Quinn Latimer take seriously the import of such a publication. It is not an exaggeration to regard this book as a curatorial project in its own right and a performative double to the exhibition.

Parallel to Artaud’s call for a theater that rejects the metaphysics of dialogue, Szymczyk and Latimer do not just compile a list of readings in this volume. Instead they combine three styles, or genres, of critical writing and thinking. One layer includes over 20 reprints and excerpts of heady and eclectic contemporary and historical, theoretical, literary, and poetic texts which do not coalesce into a unity but rather fracture into dialogue where personal experience and fictional acuity are as necessary as theoretical rigor. Mahmoud Darwish’s raging poem “To the Reader” (1964) opens the volume, followed by Sylvère Lotringer’s searing autobiographical text “Étant Donnés,” (2017) where he recounts his search for “the man who gave me his name.” Later in the volume, “Exile,” an excerpt from Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s 2011 African Philosophy as Art: Senghor, Bergson and the Idea of Negritude and Documenta’s organizer of public programs Paul C. Preciado’s, “My Body Doesn’t Exist,” (2017) document the complexity of types of oppression, along with Antonio Negri’s autobiographical statement “Exercises of Freedom” (read in Athens on September 14, 2016). W. E. B. Dubois’s poignant 1952 address presented at the Jewish Life magazine event, “Tribute to the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters,” recounts how traveling to Warsaw led to his very reconsideration of the ultimate truth of the “color line.” But art, fiction, and critical theory bump and butt against one another in the inclusion of an excerpt from Gustave Flaubert’s “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” (1874) along with canonical works by the experimental electronic art pioneer Pauline Oliveros, “The Inner-Outer Sound Matrix” (2007) and “Environmental Dialogue” (1975), as well as sociologist Tony Bennett’s reprint and reconsideration of his landmark essay, “The Exhibitionary Complex” (1988). And while the volume closes with Jacques Derrida’s and Anne Dufourmantelle’s singularly relevant, “Of Hospitality” (2000), these texts represent only a partial list.
Several essays relate directly to the present, particularly to Greece’s recent economic and political history, among them Yannis Hamilakis’s “Some Debts Can Never Be Repaid: The Archaeo-politics of the Crisis,” (2016) and Maria Boletsi’s rich linguistic analysis, “From the Subject of the Crisis to the Subject in Crisis: Middle Voice on Greek Walls” (2016). Boletsi’s essay examines the Greek word baaaniZomai (vasanizomai) for which there is no accurate English translation; “I am in torment” is the closest rendering into English. “Vasanizomai” began to appear on city walls as graffiti soon after the 2009 debt crisis. In Boletsi’s virtuoso analysis, one can’t help but recognize vasanizomai as the term of the moment for what she notes is its “ambiguity, precarious agency, and [a] bracketing of the cause of the action...” There is, as well, Latimer’s moving, meditative “Signs, Sounds, Metals, Fires, or An Economy of Her Reader,” (2017) in which she responds to Adrienne Rich’s syncretic poem “The Burning of Paper Instead of Children” (1971) with the lines:
I am not in America, but I know it hurts to burn. Manuscripts don’t burn—I’ve learned that—and I cannot touch you, reader, but I can imagine you (reading these words) into being.
I can imagine you (reading these words) into being is exactly what happens when we confront the address of the Reader’s second layer of documents, organized around the twin themes of “Empire” and “Decoloniality.” Here is where Szymczyk’s utopian desire that Documenta 14 be “owned” by all takes on flesh, as we read for ourselves the contradictory brutality of the 1685 French Code Noir put into law at Versailles; the extensive power exercised over the lives of the Australian Aborginal people by the cynically named “Aboriginal Protection Act” of 1869, or the false consciousness of American capitalism’s seemingly benevolent and reparative ego as outlined in the Marshall Plan. But, and here is why the Reader is not just a litany of critical texts, one can also read the 1994 indigenous Zapatista (EZLN) Women’s Revolutionary Law a set of ten laws granting rights to women (regarding marriage, children, work, health, education, political and military participation) and protecting them from violence, or the 1987 Sami Act that enabled the Sami people of Norway “to safeguard and develop their language, culture, and way of life.” It is this double vision, cast between texts that enshrine the deprivation and the conferral of human rights, that makes the Documenta 14 Reader such a welcome and responsive case of witness.
Yet, it is in the third section of material, comprised of seven folios of themed images and captions, where one finds the beauty and heart of the volume. Folio 1 asks: “What color is hunger? What color paper?” Folio 4 seems to whisper in reply, “Among the scattered shadows and traces of the revolution.” Each folio is an eccentric mini visual essay in which such images as Tina Modotti’s photographs of wheat are placed in proximity with Zainul Abedin’s series “Famine Sketches” (1943), or in which Léon Gaucheral’s “Athens Transformed into a Gothic City of Flanders” (after a miniature from the 15th century) is juxtaposed with “View of Athens” by Jacob Spon (1676) and Christos Papoulias’s sketch “The Erechtheion Museum of the Acropolis (1990-91).” Other combinations are more overtly critical, such as the image of a Yaxwiwe’ (Peace Dance) Headress (ca. 1922) from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations tribes, a few pages before we confront anthropologist Franz Boas, bare-chested and squatting within a hoop, symbolically representing his emergence from the mouth of the Kwakwaka ‘ wakw cannibal spirit. There are also moments like Lucius Burckhardt’s awkward and funny amateur sketch “The Invention of Landscape” (n.d.), whose caption says he is the inventor of “strollogy,” an experimental pedagogy created “to refocus attention on the experiential and perceptual aspects of what we call landscape.”
It is not only the poetic and unusual selection of images but the extended captions, as well, that make these folios such a pleasure to flip through. Take for instance Portrait of Peggy Sinclair by Karl Leyhusen (1931). Peggy Sinclair left Kassel in 1928 to visit her cousins in Dublin. One of these was Samuel Beckett, with whom she had a brief affair that lead Beckett to visit Kassel several times between 1928 and 1932. Sinclair died of tuberculosis at age 22 and, “Shortly thereafter, her family left faltering finances and the growing anti-Semitism in Germany to return to Dublin, which they had originally left because of anti-Jewish sentiment.” It is a tiny, easy to miss moment, and yet, it perfectly reflects the mandate of ownership (as in the taking of responsibility) and historical reckoning (what Holland Cotter refers to as “witnessing”1) that Szymczyk’s sprawling “theater and its double” of an exhibition seeks to instill. In other words, Kassel and Athens become twin synechdoches for the economic, ethical, and racist crises raging across Europe, where no problem is easily attributed to any one group or cause. In this sense, The documenta 14 Reader is a model of responsibility to readers, to scholarship, and to the possibility of what art can do. It is, of course, the record of an exhibition, but it is also a textual apparatus affirming that art has no business today other than to challenge and to testify to the ways we live within, and resist, empire.


Documenta heißt von Kassel lernen

Das Riesenloch in der Kasse
Über das finanzielle und andere Defizite der Documenta wird viel gestritten. Doch ist an allem wirklich nur der Leiter Adam Szymczyk schuld? Der Leitartikel.

Berliner Zeitung + Frankfurter Rundschau
Harry Nutt 17.09.17
Nichts scheint am Ende der 14. Ausgabe der Documenta leichter, als den Stab über deren mirakulösen Leiter Adam Szymczyk zu brechen. Anstelle der erhofften künstlerischen Strahlkraft hat der polnische Kurator ein Riesendefizit in der Kasse hinterlassen. Kritiker bemängelten eine allzu hölzerne Thesenkunst, und angesichts der anti-kapitalistischen Tiraden, mit denen Szymczyk seine Konzeption für die zwei Standorte Athen und Kassel beharrlich begründete, bedurfte es tatsächlich viel Geduld, um ästhetischen Eigensinn von apodiktischer Polit-Pädagogik zu unterscheiden.
Natürlich ist es verstörend, dass Szymczyk als Reaktion auf die nun erforderlichen Bürgschaften durch die Stadt Kassel und das Land Hessen in Höhe von insgesamt sieben Millionen Euro mit ruppigen Gegenvorwürfen kontert. Als sei er nie der oberste Vertreter des Unternehmens Documenta gewesen, lamentiert er nun wie ein prekär Beschäftigter. Es sei an der Zeit, „das System der Wertschöpfung solcher Megaausstellungen wie der Documenta auf den Prüfstand zu stellen“ und „das ausbeuterische Modell“ der Documenta anzuprangern, ließ er verlauten. Wer so spricht, scheint nie ernsthaft Verantwortung übernommen zu haben für eine der bedeutendsten Kunstausstellungen der Welt, die über einen Etat von rund 37 Millionen Euro verfügt. War es also ein teures Missverständnis, das die vom Publikum, der kleinen Stadt Kassel und der großen Politik gleichermaßen so geliebte Kunstschau nun in eine veritable Existenz- und Sinnkrise stürzt?
Man macht es sich allerdings zu leicht, den aufwendigen Teiltransfer von Kassel nach Athen als größenwahnsinnigen Fehltritt abzutun. Szymczyk war keineswegs der Erste, der sich bei der Gestaltung der Documenta von der Idee hat treiben lassen, das „Museum der 100 Tage“ nicht länger auf die Stadt im Nordhessischen zu beschränken. Bereits Documenta-Gründer Arnold Bode hatte mit einem Ableger in Philadelphia geliebäugelt, und zu der vom amerikanisch-nigerianischen Kunstmanager Okwui Enwezor betreuten Schau von 2002 hatte sich dieser über internationale Plattformen von dem Gedanken leiten lassen, dass die Auseinandersetzung mit zeitgenössischer Kunst der wechselseitigen Durchdringung verschiedener Einflusssphären bedürfe. Enwezor brachte das Documenta-Gefühl auch nach Lagos, New-Delhi und anderswo und versuchte, die Rückkopplungen von dort zu integrieren.
Documenta braucht Großzügigkeit
Dabei mutet es seit jeher paradox an, dass das Kuratorenmodell einen einsamen Spiritus Rector für fünf Jahre an die Documenta-Spitze beordert, um ihn oder sie als Gebieter im Kampf mit den bösen Mächten und nervösen Märkten wirken zu lassen. Enwezors Plattformen haben das Bewusstsein dafür geschärft, dass sich insbesondere auch der internationale Kunstbetrieb einer postkolonialen Verantwortung zu stellen hat. So war wohl auch die Aktion des chinesischen Künstlers Ai Weiwei auf der Documenta 12 zu verstehen, 1000 seiner Landsleute als Gäste nach Kassel zu holen. Kunst kann Menschen bewegen, so oder so.
Die Documenta 14 hat den Gedanken vom Perspektivwechsel radikalisiert und mit der Verlagerung nach Athen auf Europa zurückgeworfen. Es wäre gewiss eine allzu naive Annahme gewesen, dies von einem wie Adam Szymczyk in einer gefälligen Form serviert zu bekommen.
Die kulturpolitische Institution Documenta steht nun tatsächlich vor einer gewaltigen Umstrukturierung. Es wird nicht länger möglich sein, dass eine über Jahre vorbereitete Veranstaltung dieser Größenordnung ohne ein funktionierendes Controlling vonstattengeht. Das klingt wie eine Managerphrase, aber auch ein so idealistisches Unterfangen wie die Documenta ist nicht zuletzt ein wirtschaftliches Unternehmen, in dem vermutlich weit mehr Geld in organisatorische und sicherheitsrelevante Maßnahmen fließt als in die künstlerische Produktion. Dass sich Künstler und Kunstvermittler bisweilen wie Paria am Rande eines großen Spektakels fühlen, ist eine mehr als fragwürdige Note zum laufenden Betrieb.
Die Manöverkritik, durch die die Documenta nun hindurch muss, sollte nicht von einer pedantischen Haushaltslogik dominiert werden. Die Documenta war ein gesellschaftspolitisches Geschenk für die noch junge Bundesrepublik, die viel zur Demokratisierung des Landes beigetragen hat. Heute ist sie noch immer eine große pathetische Geste im Namen der Freiheit, zu deren Entfaltung des unbedingt einer Atmosphäre des Wohlwollens und der Großzügigkeit bedarf.


Why a World-Famous Art Exhibition Needed a Government Bailout
New York Times, By CATHERINE HICKLEY SEPT. 20, 2017
BERLIN — Debt was one of the core themes of the 14th edition of Documenta, the sprawling German exhibition of contemporary art that takes place every five years in the city of Kassel. The failure of this year’s show to balance its own books may be one of its enduring legacies.
The exhibition, which closed Sunday, was divided between two cities — Kassel and Athens — in part to draw attention to the failures of the capitalist system that led to Greece’s near-default on its debt in 2010. Bankruptcy there was averted by bailouts worth hundreds of billions, and Greece was plunged into a devastating economic crisis, from which it is only now emerging.
Called “Learning From Athens,” Documenta 14 appears to have practiced what its title preached — at least in terms of relying on bailouts. The cost of operating a second venue appears to have contributed to a deficit of more than 7 million euros ($8.4 million) in the finances of Documenta GmbH, the company that runs the exhibition, according to the Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine, a regional newspaper serving the Kassel area.
The city of Kassel and the state of Hesse, which are both shareholders in the company, then stepped in to cover the deficit with loan guarantees, according to the newspaper.
Christian Geselle, the mayor of Kassel, confirmed that the governments worked to address “looming financial shortfalls.” But the mayor’s office declined to provide specific figures, saying that accountants are examining the books and a full report is due later this month.

“As shareholders, the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse have agreed that the company’s liquidity must be secured beyond that,” Mr. Geselle said in a statement. “Documenta is inextricably linked with Kassel.”
Just how much the cost of the exhibition escalated and exactly who is at fault remain matters of robust debate. The artistic director of the exhibition, Adam Szymczyk, said in an interview that its economic plan was created before he was appointed, that it had not been sufficiently adapted to take account of the double-venue costs and that his team had been forced to work “under terrible budget constraints.”
“What is happening now is an attempt to make this a problem exhibition because of some financing issues at the end,” Mr. Szymczyk said.
Founded in 1955, the quinquennial “museum of 100 days” transforms working-class Kassel — which brands itself “Documenta City” — into a cosmopolitan hub of creative activity and brings in welcome tourism revenue. Often described as the most important art exhibition in the world, Documenta is seen as a bellwether for the relevance and direction of art internationally. It is conceived as an exhibition that takes risks, and in recent days its organizers have used strong language to suggest that its high-concept ambitions were being leadened by government leaders too focused on the bottom line.
This year’s extravaganza ran from April to July in Athens and from June to September in Kassel. It included works by 160 artists, most of whom were unknown and were featured in both cities. Conceived to “mirror, witness and fiercely comment on its time” — in the words of Mr. Szymczyk — its themes encompassed debt crises, migration, war and the rise of right-wing populism.
The budget agreed for Documenta 14 was 37 million euros (nearly $50 million) — half to be financed by Hesse, Kassel and the German federal government and the other half to be raised by Documenta from ticket and merchandise sales and sponsors.

Reporting by Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine has faulted management miscalculations for the budget overshoot, including what it said was an inability to prepare for soaring electric bills to air-condition spaces in superhot Athens.
But the Documenta curatorial team, led by Mr. Szymczyk, has fought back, suggesting that the miscalculations had been more broadly shared and the financial ramifications were being exaggerated.
“Unfortunately, politicians have prompted the media upheaval by disseminating an image of imminent bankruptcy of Documenta and at the same time presented themselves as the ‘saviors’ of a crisis they themselves allowed to develop,” a Sept. 14 statement from the curatorial team said.

Mr. Szymczyk’s decision to stage Documenta in Kassel and Athens faced what he described in an essay in the catalog as “pre-emptive and at times disheartening critique” from the start.

The Kassel branch of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union had campaigned against the double-venue plan in local elections last year, seeing the Athens offshoot — particularly that the exhibition opened there — as a threat to Kassel’s identity as Documenta’s home.
Norbert Wett, a local C.D.U. politician who is running for Parliament in the national elections later this month, said that it was a mistake to take the focus of the exhibition off Kassel, whose taxpayers are helping to pay the bills and that it had been “predictable” that the budget would be inadequate.
“We would like to know where the money went,” Mr. Wett said in an interview.
Mr. Szymczyk criticized Documenta’s reliance on increased attendance to help underwrite each edition and noted that the Kassel part of this year’s show had surpassed what he called the “already insane” 2012 figure of 850,000 visitors, while Athens — which was mostly free of admission charges — had drawn 330,000.
“It is good to be democratic and art is for everyone, but the capacity of the infrastructure is an issue,” he said.
Mr. Szymczyk said he was concerned that the political establishment would use Documenta’s financial woes “as a punitive instrument against the exhibition itself,” reaching the point where “no crazy ideas are possible anymore.” His curatorial team’s statement went a step further, accusing authorities of conducting what amounts to a “political takeover of Documenta.” It criticized the authorities for asking, as the statement put it, “a public cultural institution to become primarily an economic institution subject to the demands of profit and success.”
This anti-establishment tongue-lashing may not go down well with the public backers of the show. Lawmakers in Kassel are scheduled to meet on Monday — the day after the national election — and will need to approve any cash injection proposed by the mayor.
The mayor, Mr. Geselle, said as the event closed that the exhibition had “reached its financial and structural limits” and that its organizational structure must be rethought. He pledged to uphold the artistic freedom of curator but stressed “the limits of that freedom are at the point where Documenta jeopardizes its own future.”
The show has a long tradition of making political statements; its first edition in 1955 marked Germany’s re-entry into international artistic dialogue after World War II, with a presentation of art once banned and defamed by the Nazis as “degenerate.” Its reputation rests on its record of granting maximum freedom to the curatorial team and of pushing artistic and ideological boundaries.
This time the financial boundaries were pushed, too.

Jason Farago contributed reporting from Paris.

Die documenta 14 geht zu Ende: Adam Szymczyk bedankt sich zum Abschied
17.09.17 20:32
Kassel. Am Sonntagabend endete die documenta 14 in Kassel. Die Weltkunstausstellung ist höchstwahrscheinlich mit Besucherrekord zu Ende gegangen.
Kurzclip: Aus der Abschiedsrede von Adam Szymczyk

Genaue Zahlen sollen zwar erst am Montag präsentiert werden, doch bereits Mitte der Woche hatte man 850.000 Gäste in Kassel gezählt. Danach war der Andrang bei der weltweit wichtigsten Ausstellung für moderne Kunst ungebrochen. Den bisherigen Höchstwert hatte die documenta 13 vor fünf Jahren mit 860.000 Besuchern erreicht.
Nach vielen Querelen auf der Zielgeraden der d 14 mit einem Millionendefizit gab es am Sonntag nicht wie sonst üblich eine Abschlussparty. Allerdings zeigten sich am Abend der künstlerische Leiter Adam Szymczyk und documenta-Mitarbeiter doch noch vor dem Fridericianum. Vor mehreren hundert Zuschauern versammelten sie sich kurz vor Toreschluss. Dutzende Mitarbeiter entrollten ein Banner. Darauf stand: "Wir stehen hinter der documenta 14."
Neben ihnen bedankte sich auch Szymczyk für eine "großartige documenta" und zwar auf Deutsch. Später wechselte er die Sprache und äußerte auf Englisch die Hoffnung, dass all jene, die die documenta verfolgt haben, verschiedene Botschaften von der Ausstellung verbreiten werden. Insofern ginge nichts zu Ende. Anschließend gab es Applaus für Szymczyk. Er sprach schließlich auch Annette Kulenkampff, der Geschäftsführerin der documenta gGmbH, seinen Dank aus. Sie war ebenfalls vor das Fridericianum gekommen, gab aber keine offizielle Stellungnahme ab.

Das traditionelle Foto gab es ohnehin nicht: dass symbolisch das Fridericianum abgeschlossen wird von der documenta-Geschäftsführung und Kassels Oberbürgermeister. Christian Geselle erklärte per Pressemitteilung, dass die Ausstellung finanziell und in der Organisationsstruktur an ihre Grenzen gekommen sei. Deshalb müsse man sie auf eine neue Basis stellen, um für die Zukunft gewappnet zu sein. Geselle bekannte sich dabei ausdrücklich zu Kassel als Standort der documenta.
Mitteilung von Kassels Oberbürgermeister
Christian Geselle, Oberbürgermeister der Stadt Kassel, hat sich in einer Pressemitteilung ebenfalls abschließend zur documenta geäußert. 
„100 Tage hat die kunstinteressierte Welt auf die nordhessische Metropole geblickt, und Gäste aus vielen Ländern haben die documenta Stadt besucht“, sagte Geselle. Sie bescherten der Stadt in den vergangenen drei Monaten ein unvergleichliches Flair, eine heitere und internationale Atmosphäre, die die Kasseler und Nordhessen wieder sehr genossen haben.
Zum Abschluss der Ausstellung in Kassel überreichte Geselle vier zufällig ausgewählten Besuchern der d14 einen Gutschein für einen Besuch der im Jahr 2022 stattfindenden documenta 15. „Das ist ein symbolischer Dank an die vielen hunderttausend Menschen, die der documenta und unserer Stadt mit ihrem Besuch ihre Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt haben. Zugleich ist es eine Einladung an alle, bald wieder nach Kassel zu kommen. Denn auch in der Zeit zwischen zwei documenta-Ausstellungen hat unsere Stadt mit ihrem einzigartigen Kulturangebot viel zu bieten.“
Einen herzlichen Dank richtete Geselle auch an die vielen Menschen, die zum gelungenen und friedlichen Ablauf der documenta in Kassel beigetragen haben: „Vom Team der documenta über die Polizei, den Sicherheitsdiensten sowie den Mitarbeitern des städtischen Ordnungsamtes bis hin zu den vielen ehren- und hauptamtlichen Mitarbeitern der Einrichtungen rund um die documenta-Ausstellungsorte – sie alle haben für die unvergleichliche und besondere documenta-Atmosphäre in Kassel gesorgt.“ Für die Stadt und die Region, aber auch für Hotels, Gastronomie und den Einzelhandel war die Weltkunstausstellung einmal mehr ein großer Gewinn.
"Ein großes Experiment"
Im Verlauf der bewegten 62-jährigen Geschichte der weltweit bedeutendsten Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Kunst war die 14. Ausgabe mit ihren zwei Standorten Kassel und Athen eine sehr außergewöhnliche documenta, so Geselle. „Der Schritt nach Athen hat eine neue Perspektive eröffnet, doch damit war die documenta 14 gleichzeitig auch ein großes Experiment, dessen künstlerische Bewertung anderen zusteht“, sagte Geselle. Für ihn als Kasseler Oberbürgermeister und Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden sei eines deutlich geworden: „Die vor sechs Jahrzehnten von Arnold Bode ins Leben gerufene Ausstellung ist sowohl finanziell als auch in ihrer Organisations-Struktur an Grenzen gekommen.“ Daher müsse die documenta unabhängig von den aktuellen finanziellen Problemen langfristig eine veränderte Basis erhalten, um für die Herausforderungen der Zukunft gewappnet zu sein. „Wir müssen den Weltrang der Ausstellung auf Dauer wahren.“
Keine Zweifel ließ Oberbürgermeister Geselle daran, dass die documenta eine Ausstellung in Kassel ist und bleiben wird. „Die Freiheit des künstlerischen Leiters ist ein wertvolles Gut, das ich auch weiter hochhalten werde. Jeder künstlerische Leiter einer documenta muss sich für sein Konzept und dessen Umsetzung nur der medialen Kritik und dem Publikum stellen. Aber diese Freiheit hat ihren Rahmen dort, wo sie die documenta selbst in Gefahr bringt.“

Gastbeitrag von Gregor Schneider zur documenta
Szymczyk-Kenner: "Mit Kunst und Kapital hatte er keine Probleme"
20.09.17 09:19

Kassel. Die documenta ist auch nach dem Ende ihrer 14. Auflage in der Diskussion. Bevor am Donnerstag der Aufsichtsrat tagt, lassen wir anerkannte Professoren zu Wort kommen.
Im Aufsichtsrat wird es um die Finanzen und um die Ausrichtung in Zukunft gehen. Wir haben mit Gregor Schneider über Adam Szymczyk und die documenta an sich gesprochen. Schneider ist Professor an der Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. Er zählt zu den renommiertesten deutschen Künstlern – ausgezeichnet mit dem Goldenen Löwen der Venedig-Biennale. Sein Schwerpunkt liegt auf gebauten Räumen.

Adam Szymczyk als Kapitalismuskritiker
Ich habe mit Adam Szymczyk Mitte der 90er-Jahre in seinen Anfängen zusammengearbeitet. Er hat nie als „Gegenpol gegen die bösen Kräfte unserer Zeit“, wie er heute sagt, gearbeitet. Er hat zusammen mit Joanna Mytkowska und Andrzej Przywara den Namen der legendären unabhängigen Galeria Foksal in Warschau gekidnappt und ihn einfach an einer anderen Adresse für seine eigenen Belange auf Messen kommerzialisiert. Später haben sie hinter dem Namen noch Foundation gesetzt, was aber in Polen eine ziemlich kommerzielle Angelegenheit ist. Noch heute bezeichnen die Kollegen in Warschau das Trio liebevoll „AAA Polen-mafia“.
Ich habe ja nichts gegen kommerzielle Galerien, aber dem Ganzen noch den Anstrich einer gemeinnützigen Organisation zu geben, ist schon ziemlich dreist. Szymczyk hat wie die Mehrheit der jungen Leute in seiner Zeit in Warschau die Zukunft im Kapitalismus gesucht und gefunden. Kapitalismuskritik war zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht sein Thema. Das hätte ihm damals auch nichts gebracht. Mit der Verbindung von Kunst und Kapital hatte er keine Probleme, sie war der Motor für seine eigene Karriere.
Dass Kunst als ein Wirtschaftsfaktor Karrieren antreibt, hat Adam sehr früh erkannt. In Basel hat er als Direktor der Kunsthalle einen guten Job gemacht. Aber auch mit Galerien wie Hauser & Wirth und Firmen zusammengearbeitet.
Interessant ist doch an einer Biografie wie der Adam Szymczyks, dass er die Kapitalismuskritik für sich entdeckt, erst nachdem er die durch-ökonomisierte Kunstwelt durchlaufen hat. Vermutlich hat Adam nun den Mythos von Foksal in Kassel gesucht, welchen er selber zu Grabe getragen hat. 
Die Galeria Foksal wurde 1966 in Warschau gegründet – sie wurde nach der Straße benannt, an deren Ende sie stand. Hauptsächlich wurde dort avantgardistische Kunst ausgestellt. Außerdem fanden in der Galeria auch häufige Treffen zwischen den Künstlern statt. Dabei kam es auch zu Debatten, Demonstrationen, die die internationale Kunstszene entscheidend geprägt hatte.

Die documenta als Weltkunstausstellung
Die documenta und Biennalen und Skulptur-Projekte mit ihrem Weltkunstausstellungs-gequatschte werden einfach zu hoch gehängt, und das ist auch deren Problem. Durch diesen Druck müssen die Kuratoren ja durchdrehen und allen auf die Nerven gehen.
Die documenta ist eine sehr teure Ausstellung von der Produktion bis zur Eintrittskarte, und es ist eine Ausstellung von einem Kurator oder einer Kuratorin. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Das genügt auch vollkommen. Ich finde es ja super, wenn ein Kurator das macht, was er will: Das ist gut oder schlecht – zumindest sein Geschmack. Darüber lässt sich dann munter streiten.
Eine Großausstellung konnte dem Anspruch, einen Kunstquerschnitt der Zeit abzubilden, aber noch nie gerecht werden. Ganze Künstlergenerationen haben sich in der Vergangenheit ohne eine documenta kunsthistorisch durchgesetzt. Die Hybris einer selbsternannten Weltkunstausstellung nervt. Die documenta legitimiert sich nur durch ihre Geschichte und macht ihre jetzigen Kuratoren zu Trittbrettfahrern.
Der Besuchererfolg wird jedoch allen Mega-Ausstellungen zum Verhängnis. Wenn eine Million Besucher kommen oder kommen müssen, bringt das Strukturen und Begehrlichkeiten, die dem Experiment in der Kunst leider schaden. Dabei muss man demütig bleiben – für eine Lichtershow für 30 Millionen Euro würden mehr Besucher kommen.
Die documenta als politische Ausstellung
Jetzt heißt es, die documenta 14 sei politisch gewesen. Politik heißt per Definition, ein Regelsystem für ein Gemeinwesen zu entwickeln. Dafür gibt es Politiker. Ich bin der Überzeugung, dass die Künstler das nicht leisten können.
Die documenta – eine politische Ausstellung? Die Eröffnungskonferenz wirkte doch wie ein gleich-geschaltetes Zentralkomitee. Die Kunst darf aber nicht mit Eindimensionalität und Gleichschaltung auf die komplexen Probleme unserer Zeit reagieren. Wir brauchen individuelle Künstler, die nicht unbedingt systemkonform sind mit den Machtstrukturen der documenta. Künstler, die keinem Kurator in den Arsch kriechen. Ich höre die verschiedenen Stimmen der Künstler dieser documenta aber nicht.
Das Kuratoren-Gerede verstehe ich als leere Revolutionsgeste. Revolution kommt von revolutio, wörtlich: „das Zurückwälzen“, „das Zurückdrehen“. Aber wollen wir nicht nach vorne, zumindest weiter oder mal innehalten. Lieber Adam, ich mag ja schräge Typen, aber wie soll das gehen mit dem Zurückdrehen?
Die d14 als Doppelausstellung
Natürlich ändert sich die Welt. Kassel ist nicht das Zentrum, aber Athen auch nicht. Das Kuratorische nüchtern betrachtet: Zeitgenössische Kunstausstellungen fanden auch schon vor der documenta in Athen statt. Okay, es war eine Solidaritätsbekundung, der ich ja noch viel abgewinnen kann. Doppelausstellungen in zwei Städten gab’s auch schon. Ich liebe Doppelungen und Wiederholung. Die documenta verlässt ihr Camp! Hurra! Aber: Ist das plötzlich alles nur so toll und revolutionär, weil der documenta-Kurator das jetzt macht und sagt, das sei Revolution?

Technisch, logistisch und finanziell muss man so was erst mal hinkriegen. Adam hat es mit schierer Größe und Geld versucht, mit purem Wachstum. Wenn es mit der Kunst nicht klappt, muss es krachen. Endlich wieder mal was los! Wir mögen das ja auch.
Also ist die Revolution die Geldvernichtung? Die findet eh schon statt. Geldverbrennungsanlagen waren die Museen doch schon immer. Musste ein Geldopfer für die Kunst erbracht werden? Es muss teuer sein, sonst hat es keinen Wert. Es muss wehtun.
Die documenta und das Mega-Kunstjahr
Endlich ist dieses Mega-Kunstjahr vorbei, und wir können wieder vernünftig arbeiten. Adam hat sein Wirtschaftsmodell vermutlich schon längst nach Afrika verlagert. Die documenta 14 hat eine große Chance vertan, neuen Werkbegriffen eine große Öffentlichkeit zu geben. Die beteiligten Künstler zahlen den höchsten Preis. Den der Unsichtbarkeit.
Das größte und glaubwürdigste politische Statement, das ich in diesem Kunstjahr bei einer Großausstellung erlebt habe, ist der kostenlose Eintritt zu den gesamten Skulptur Projekten in Münster. Freier Zugang für alle!  

Zur Person:
Gregor Schneider ist 48 Jahre alt, er kommt aus Mönchengladbach. Schon mit 13 Jahren malte er Bilder, die er heute noch in seinen Ausstellungen aufnimmt. Schneider ist Professor an der Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. Für sein „Totes Haus u r“ im deutschen Pavillon erhielt er 2001 den Goldenen Löwen bei der Biennale in Venedig. Für Diskussionen sorgte Schneider 2008, als er eine Person zeigen wollte, die eines natürlichen Todes stirbt oder gerade eines natürlichen Todes gestorben ist. Schneider bekam daraufhin Morddrohungen. 2012 wollte er in der Kasseler Karlskirche ausstellen, die evangelische Kirche sagte die Ausstellung aber aus Rücksicht auf die documenta ab.

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (6/10)

Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (5/10)


Room No.4のつづきです。

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Daydreamer」2003, Acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 157.5 x 137.0, Private Collection (NARA GIRL?)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智、左側から:「Under the Tree」2006, Colored pencil and acrylic on cardboard, 30.5 x 23.8 cm, Artist Collection, 「Too Drunk to Figure Out」2006, Colored pencil and acrylic on cardboard, 53.5 x 46.0 cm, Artist Collection, 「I’m a Son of a Gun」2006, Colored pencil and acrylic on cardboard, 68.0 x 46.2 cm, Artist Collection

Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk To Fuck

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「I am Right Wing, I am Left Wing」2011, Pencil and gesso on cardboard, 76.0 x 48.5 cm, Artist Collection
(奈良さん NARA?)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「In the Deepest Puddle II」1995, Acrylic on cotton mounted on canvas, 120 x 110 cm, TAKAHASHI COLLECTION、負傷者、池?

screenshots 参考のため、2年前、TAKAHASHI COLLECTIONが同じサイズの奈良さん「IN THE DARKLAND」(1999, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 110 cm) をSotheby’s Hongkongで12.080.000 HKD (約1億7千万円)で販売しました。
LOT 1064, Modern and contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale,
04 OCTOBER 2015


草間彌生展 @ 高橋コレクション日比谷 (2009年7月15日)

「neoneo展 Part1[男子]」ネオネオ・ボーイズは草食系? (2009年8月1日)

ネオネオ・ガールズ @ 高橋コレクション日比谷 1+2 (2009年12月8日)

今日の船越桂と荒木経惟 @ 高橋コレクション (2010年2月28日)

今日の会田誠・山口晃 @ 高橋コレクション日比谷 (2010年4月23日)

塩田千春、田中功起、東京都現代美術館の開館20周年、高橋コレクション (2015年5月8日)

Installation view. “Nothin’” 2017, “DRAWING FOR” 2013 (ごめん), “Death or Glory” 2017

“Death or Glory” 2017 by Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智

これから、Room No.5です。
Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (2/10)


気がつく方は少ないでしょうが、奈良と村上の「血縁の絆・つながり」が豊田市美術館での展示にも最高なノーション・オブ・キュラトリアル・ プラクティスとして表されています。


展示は5作に絞られており、村上隆コレクションの「Light My Fire」(ハートに火をつけて、2001年)にオーディエンスを惹きつけさせる構造です。

Room No. 5, exhibition view. 右側から:Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Light My Fire」(ハートに火をつけて)2001, Acrylic on cotton on curved wood, 186.6 x 67.0 x 113.0 cm, Private Collection. (実は村上隆コレクションである), 「Twins I 」& 「Twins II」both: 2005, Acrylic on canvas, 117 x 110 cm, Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum, 「Missing in Action - Girl Meets Boy -」2005, Acrylic, colored pencil and water color on paper, 150 x 137 cm, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
screenshot taken from the twitter account of Kaoru009 on 3rd of September 2017.
Courtesy & Copyright by the company of Twitter and Kaoru Funabashi. Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works.
cccs courtesy creative common sense

Instagram: michinara3 my favorite wooden sculpture "Light My Fire" is loaned from Murakami-san @takashipom . this exhibit room (from 12 rooms) is the best showing what l think now.

screenshot of the culturegrrl website. May 15, 2008. “The artist (Takashi Murakami) returned the favor to Sotheby’s by himself purchasing the last lot in the sale, Yoshitomo Nara’s “Light My Fire”, for $1.16 million, setting an auction record for a sculpture by that artist. He looked excited and gleeful as it was hammered down to him.
You can see the similarity in these two Japanese manga-influenced artists’ sensibilities. Here’s Murakami’s new acquisition:”

村上隆コレクション展より:NARA Yoshitomo 奈良美智《ハートに火をつけて》"Light My Fire" 2001年
Acrylic and cotton on carved wood 
©Yoshitomo Nara. Courtesy of the artist
cccs courtesy creative common sense

同じ作品、参照 see also same work:

«N08441»*, Contemporary Art Evening Auction, New York, Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Lot 85

見応えのある 横浜美術館「村上隆コレクション」展 (4/6) (2016年3月22日)

後ろの壁:Kim Gordon "Pussy Galore" 2009, Acrylic on canvas
参照 see also:
When art is over: リチャード・プリンス個展 @ Blum & Poe 東京 (2015年4月11日)

Pussy Galore – Dial 'M' for Motherfucker

女子と男子の出会い(- Girl Meets Boy -)、「元気でやっているのかい?」(Missing in Action)

村上コレクション「Light My Fire」の正面に向き合っている「Missing in Action - Girl Meets Boy -」(2005年)と「Light My Fire」の左側の「M.I.A.」(2016年):コナミが1989年に発表したアクションゲーム M.I.A. (Missing in Action)、サブウエポン:基本はナイフ攻撃のみ。

「Light My Fire」の右側の:「Twins I 」& 「Twins II」(2005年):「双子」「異母兄弟」と「Jaco Pastorius Big Band - Twins I & II」

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Missing in Action - Girl Meets Boy -」2005, Acrylic, colored pencil and water color on paper, 150 x 137 cm, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
(NARA GIRL?、村上・奈良「異母兄弟」?)

Instagram michinara3" missing in action - girl meets boy" (2005) from Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. a girl meets a "little boy" = is the code name of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. the explosion is reflected on her right eye.

[AC] ミッシングインアクション M.I.A Missing in Action

David Bowie - When I live my Dream (Boy meets girl)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「Twins I 」& 「Twins II」both 2005, Acrylic on canvas, 117 x 110 cm, Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum
(双子:NARA GIRL?*NARA BOY?又は、2x NARA GIRL?、村上・奈良「異母兄弟」?)

jaco pastores big band live in japan 1982
Jaco Pastorius Big Band - Twins I & II CD1 and CD2

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智 「M.I.A.」2016, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 91 cm, Private Collection
(NARA GIRL?、NARA BOY?、村上・奈良「異母兄弟」?)

比較 @ Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (8/10)

Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智「Missing in Action」, 1999, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 145 cm, Private collection, Courtesy of Delahunty Fine Art

Arcade Longplay [645] M.I.A.: Missing in Action

謝辞のラインナップに、「村上隆」又は、「村上隆コレクション」の名前は無く、日本語「カイカイキキ」英語「Kaikaikiki」とだけ書かれています。それも正式名称の「有限会社カイカイキキ・Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.」ではありません。


Der coole Rebell「奈良美智 for better or worse・1987-2017作」 展 @ 豊田市美術館 (7/10)

「国民の声 3・11〜」#9 ー #22

国民の声 3・11〜






ところが驚いたことに、8月31日に、読売新聞と産経新聞は、そのニュースを一面に報道しませんでした。つまり、読売と産経は、我が国の歴史を客観的見解として受け取ろうとしませんでした。まさしく、日本の報道メディアを巡り、不祥事、反民主主義な態度の現れです。読売と産経の新聞一面問題に関しての証拠は、私の「国民の声 3・11〜」の本にも記録しています。


また「work in progress」の文脈として、今後もアップデートする形で、毎年新しい「国民の声 3・11〜」を作り上げる予定です。

日本の民主主義、言論の自由が保証される環境を望み、「国民の声 3・11〜」を我が国に捧げます。

亜 真里男

「国民の声 #9」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #10」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #11」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #12」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #13」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #14」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #15」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #16」、2011年3月11日

「国民の声 #17」、2011年3月13日

「国民の声 #18」、2011年3月13日

「国民の声 #19」、2011年3月13日

「国民の声 #20」、2011年3月13日

「国民の声 #21」、2011年3月13日

「国民の声 #22」、2011年3月13日

亜 真里男作品集「国民の声 3・11~」2017版

特別版「国民の声 3・11~」はサイン入りオリジナルプリントが付きます。
プリント・サイズ:54 x 42 cm
なお、エディションは2/3 又は 3/3。
定価:100,000円 (フレーム付き)
又は info (at)

Mario A ”People's Voice 3/11 〜" 2017 version
signed, A3 size, about 200 pages, 5.000 Yen

Special version with an original print,
print size: 54 x 42 cm, Edition 2/3 or 3/3.
The image for the signed print can be chosen freely via this ARTiT blog entries.
Price: 100.000 Yen, incl. frame.
or info (at)

「国民の声 3・11〜」#1 ー #8 (2017年7月23日)

to be continued つづく、、、

前澤友作氏に注目 @ 国際トップ200 コレクター ・2017年版 ARTnews



佐藤辰美氏、大林 剛郎氏、柳井 正氏に関して、前回のブログ・エントリで参考になります。
国際 トップ200 コレクター (2015 / art news) (2015年7月8日)

前澤友作アート・コレクター@BRUTUS雑誌「現代アートと暮らしたい!」 (2016年10月16日)

今日、ZOZOTOWN代表の前澤友作はバスキアの絵画を約120億円で落札した (2017年5月19日)

Beyond the $110 Million Basquiat: Yusaku Maezawa Redefines the Megacollector (2017年8月31日)


An Introduction to the 2017 ARTnews Top 200 Collectors

See What the Top 200 Collectors Bought in the Past Year
BY Maximilíano Durón and Alex Greenberger POSTED 09/11/17

Maezawa’s World: The Japanese Collector Recently Set the Auction Record for Jean-Michel Basquiat—Twice

BY Nate Freeman POSTED 09/11/17 11:50 PM

Yusaku Maezawa photographed in his home in Tokyo, 2017.

It was just after 8 p.m. on May 18, 2017, when a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for more than $110 million at Sotheby’s, blasting past the pre-sale estimate of $60 million. It set a new auction record for the artist and became the sixth most expensive artwork ever to sell at auction. The initial reaction in the salesroom was a collective gasp, followed by wild applause—and then, perhaps, some quick mental tabulations in the minds of collectors with Basquiats on their walls.
Next, everyone started to wonder: who bought the damn thing? All was revealed within minutes, when Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa posted an image to his lively Instagram account of himself standing in front of the untitled black-on-blue skull from 1982.
“I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece,” he wrote in the caption. The purchase capped Maezawa’s lightning-fast shoot to the front of the global collecting rat race, and the folk story of the sky-high total soon became a crossover sensation. Once again, the world was talking about the American artist who died of a heroin overdose on Great Jones Street in 1988, when he was only 27 years old.

Clearly, the collector, who had won the Basquiat after a bidding war with the art adviser to the Las Vegas–based Fertitta brothers, had found someone with whom he shared an ethos. Maezawa got his start playing drums in the Japanese indie band Switch Style, and Basquiat was in the punk band Gray before making it as an artist. They have both embodied the playboy persona—Basquiat dated the pop icon Madonna, and Maezawa was once attached to the Japanese starlet Saeko.
“I am not only attracted to Basquiat’s works, but also to his entire identity and way of life, including his fashion and his words,” Maezawa told ARTnews in an email. “I can very much sympathize with his story of dramatically rising to the mainstream through talent, luck, and timing.”

When asked if his newfound status could inspire ambitions in younger collectors—or jealousy from more established ones—he demurred.
“I just pursue my passion and do what I like to do,” he said, “but I’m glad if my way of living inspires anyone.”
Maezawa was a relatively unknown collector until he picked up a Basquiat consigned by Adam Lindemann for $57.3 million at Christie’s in May 2016, setting a new record for the artist that he reset this past May. But through a series of canny moves and sheer perseverance, he’s endeared himself to the market’s influential gatekeepers.
“I came to know Mr. Maezawa many years ago through an old mentor and collector named Takaya Iwasaki,” Tim Blum—of Blum & Poe, which reps Yoshitomo Nara, a favorite of Maezawa’s—said in an email to ARTnews. “Iwasaki was always telling me about this ambitious young collector who was a quick and eager learner and buyer, and we began doing business. This was quite unusual in Japan, especially given the seriousness of the material he was acquiring.”
And Yuki Terase, the Sotheby’s specialist who was on the phone with Maezawa when he gave the go-ahead to spend $110 million, said that her client is “undoubtedly one of the most serious and passionate collectors I have ever had the privilege to work with.”
“I am constantly amazed by his ability to absorb information and how rapidly he has evolved as a collector,” she told ARTnews in an email.
But when Maezawa chose the same auction week in May 2016 to spend hefty sums on a number of other top lots as well—$13.9 million on a Christopher Wool, $9.7 million on Richard Prince’s Runaway Nurse, $6.9 million on Jeff Koons’s Lobster—he worked the elder collector class into a frenzy. They all had to ask, just who is this Maezawa guy?

Born in Japan’s Chiba prefecture in 1975, Maezawa grew up a restless kid, devoted his time more to the punk scene than to his homework, and left for California after skating by, barely graduating. There, he immersed himself in the music scene, amassing a vast collection of CDs that he could never find in Japan. Upon returning to his home country, he started selling these rare discs out of his kitchen as a side hustle while his band gigged, and though they got a major label record deal in 2000, he soon stepped back to focus on his booming business, which he had dubbed Start Today.
The big break came when he spun off the retail arm of the company into Zozotown and created an online warehouse for young Japanese hipsters to buy clothes from the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo—previously, the chic vendors there couldn’t get into major department stores, making the cool clothes impossible to snap up. When the looks became a fashion sensation, Zozotown was the only place to get the duds. In 2011, Forbes dubbed him the “Harajuku Billionaire.”
Start Today got a listing in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2012, and with a newly minted fortune, Maezawa nursed a passion for buying paintings, which he said hearkens back to his roots on the rock circuit.
“Many musicians are collecting art and I was influenced by their lifestyle,” he said.

But unlike the casual rock-star-turned-collector, Maezawa began to scoop up works at an exhausting clip. In 2012, he set up the Contemporary Art Foundation in Tokyo, which allows for public exhibitions of his works, and provides grants for emerging artists. And after his buying spree in May 2016, in November he bought Pablo Picasso’s Buste de Femme (Dora Maar), 1938, for $22.6 million at Christie’s New York; this is just part of a collection that includes work by Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Donald Judd, and many other heavy hitters. He plans to open a private museum in Chiba, his hometown.

“Clearly, time has told that his ambitions have grown [by] leaps and bounds,” Blum said. “Coupled with the creation of his foundation and plans for a building to house the collection to share with the Japanese public, his contribution is still to be revealed.”
And he’s started to diversify his attention, looking at the potential Basquiats of the future, Imp-Mod masterpieces, Prouvé and Royére chairs, Japanese antique ceramics—his tastes have become increasingly catholic.
In August, Artnet reported that he bought a Jenny Holzer piece—Page 6 (2016), a silkscreened painting made from declassified government memos—from the glitzy Saint-Tropez auction for Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental charity, where he was bidding alongside the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Len Blavatnik, and DiCaprio himself.
“I am also fascinated by artists of my own generation, and those younger than me, although this doesn’t mean I am tied to collect works only by contemporary artists,” he said. “I believe art has no boundaries, and my passion is equally strong for many other categories.”
Who knows when Maezawa will next surprise the world with a sticker-shock purchase? It’s clear that, for him, there is no limit. When asked what he would buy if he could acquire anything on earth, he mentioned only the priceless collections of institutions.
“At museums, there are so many works of art that I would like to buy more than anything!” he said—the exclamation point, of course, his.

Update, September 13: An earlier version of this story included Basquiat’s Hannibal (1982) in a list of works purchased by Maezawa. A representative for Maezawa’s collection stated that the collector did not acquire this work and the article has been updated to reflect this.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of ARTnews on page 70 under the title “Maezawa’s World.”


Beyond the $110 Million Basquiat: Yusaku Maezawa Redefines the Megacollector
SOTHEBY's Magazine October 2017

instagram yousuck2020:「Sothebys Magazineの表紙にしていただきました。桃山〜江戸時代初期の織部茶碗と。 」

Beyond the $110 Million Basquiat: Yusaku Maezawa Redefines the Megacollector

前澤友作アート・コレクター@BRUTUS雑誌「現代アートと暮らしたい!」 (2016年10月16日)

今日、ZOZOTOWN代表の前澤友作はバスキアの絵画を約120億円で落札した (2017年5月19日)


Meet Mr Maezawa – $110.5m Basquiat Buyer and Art World Hero


Over the years I’ve spoken to many of the world’s top art collectors and all it takes is just a few minutes for it to becomes obvious whether or not they are genuinely passionate about the art they collect or just in the market to make a quick – or not so quick – buck.
My radar is perhaps a little more honed than most, but you don’t necessarily need to know what someone is talking about in order to be able to gauge whether or not they are genuinely passionate about the topic that is being discussed.
A few minutes with an art collector is really all it takes to be able to sense what motivates and inspires their art collecting habit. The way they talk about their collection, what they say about their collecting activities, how they respond to certain questions, and even the tone of the conversation – these are all factors in determining the authenticity of an art collector’s professed intentions.
If you hadn’t heard of Yusaku Maezawa before he spent US$110.5 million on a painting by Haitian-American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in May, in the process setting a new auction record for highest price for an artwork by an American artist, then chances are that you probably have now, such was the extent of the media coverage surrounding the sale.
The billionaire Japanese fashion mogul – he’s the Founder and President of Start Today Co., Ltd., which runs Japanʼs biggest online fashion mall, “ZOZOTOWN” – former rock musician, act collector, and generous patron of the arts also set the previous auction record for Jean-Michel Basquiat when he bought a self-portrait by the artist for US$57.3 million at Christie’s New York in May last year.
Commenting on the painting, he said “I believe the most raw elemental gestures and emotions of the artist are imbued throughout this work. When I encountered the work at the Christieʼs New York preview, I had an immediate visceral connection it. Generationally, I relate to Basquiatʼs culture and the essence of his life story.”
“Rather than monetary or investment value, I felt I had a personal responsibility to take care of this masterpiece and preserve it for the next generation,” he added. “This Basquiat was first exhibited in Tokyo in 1985. For Japan, this was an art historical moment. To have encountered such a superb painting gives me great joy from the bottom of my heart and I feel privileged and honored to own it. I am very grateful and proud of this moment.”
But there’s more to Mr Maezawa’s art-related activities than headline-making auction sales – he is also the founder of the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation, which states its aim as “to contribute to the promotion of contemporary art by helping young artists and young musicians improve their skills.”
Following the $110.5 million sale, Mr Maezawa took the almost unprecedented step of taking to Instagram ( to announce his purchase. It’s rare for buyers at the same level as Mr Maezawa to identify themselves as the winning bidder of an expensive work of art, let alone take to social media to celebrate their success.
Mr Maezawa’s social media activities could be interpreted one of two ways, either as evidence of his passion for art or an attempt to gain as much cultural capital from his purchase as possible. And I’m convinced it’s the former – which is a good thing for the art market.
If at this point you’re wondering why all this matters then consider for a moment that these high-net-worth collectors, with their private museums, are essentially establishing themselves as the custodians of the world’s artistic heritage, which raises the question of how, or even if, they plan to use their purchases to contribute to the cultural fabric of contemporary society.
Mr Maezawa’s answer to my first question on his Basquiat purchase was a revelation. “When I first encountered Basquiat’s ‘Untitled’ I couldn’t look at the painting directly,” he said. “I was struck by the tremendous beauty and power of the painting, moved almost to the point of tears,” he enthused.
He continued, “Once some time passed, and I was able to closely inspect the painting, I was able to see his artistic process; underneath the bright blue surface, one can trace how Basquiat painted with oil sticks and spray paint, boldly at times and carefully at other times. To me, the letters “Aa” painted in the bottom left corner confidently announce Basquiat’s first steps into the art world. An excellent combination of power and delicacy in composition and colour scheme, I regard this master painting as the embodiment of Basquiat’s art. I would like to express my deepest respect to Basquiat, who brought me great joy.”
If you’re not convinced that these are the words of a passionate and genuine lover of art the perhaps it’s worth considering the breadth and depth of his collection as an indicator of his motivations – his interests transcend the big “blockbuster” artists with the greatest cache. Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, Pablo Picasso, Richard Price, Jonas Wood and Christopher Wool, are just some of the artists represented in his collection.
“I am also fascinated by artists of my own generation, and those younger than me, although this doesn’t mean I am tied to collecting works only by Contemporary Artists,” he told me. “I believe art has no boundaries, and my passion is equally strong for many other categories. My collection includes not only Contemporary Art, but also design such as Jean Prouvé and Jean Royére, and Japanese antique ceramics such as Oribe and Raku.”
Another thing that surprised me about Mr Maezawa is his perception of the art market and his knowledge of its mechanics, both of which seem to be particularly well honed and insightful considering the relatively short time that he has been collecting.
“There are so many subjective factors on how people price works in art,” he responded when asked how he would describe the current condition and status of the art market and in what direction he sees the art market heading into the future.
“There are emotional factors such as love, fear, sadness or joy,” he continued. “Then there are the background aspects of the works – the history and lives of the artists, composition and subject matter, and the mere qualities and techniques of the paintings. I feel in the modern world where everything tends to be calculated, coordinated, and objectified, this is very romantic.”
Mr Maezawa has achieved a lot in a relatively short period time, having only been collecting in a serious manner for about 10 years. “I have always had a great admiration for ‘creativity and craftsmanship,’” he said. “Fashion and music have always been of interest, yet I had very little interaction with fine art, having hardly stepped foot in a museum. This all changed about 10 years ago, when I first began acquiring art simply to fill the blank walls in my house.”
Although He’s only been collecting for about 10 years yet has already established a Foundation in Tokyo, which he says he established so he could share his collection with everyone and also to give young emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their works through the art awards they organize.
He’s also in the process of building a private museum in his home city of Chiba in Japan – a project that is driving his recent art buying spree. But he’s not revealing too much about it as this stage.
“At this moment in time, I would prefer to keep that information a secret. However, I will say that I hope to build an environment where visitors, regardless of age or background, will be moved by the art,” is all he was willing to reveal.
Mr Maezawa would seem to be evidence of the emergence of a new breed of young, wealthy art collector whose activities and motivations are perhaps more aligned to, and sympathetic with the contemporary zeitgeist then previous generations.
There’s bound to be the inevitable criticism of his high profile and bold art buys, but his response to the criticism is one that confirms to me that he is not the sort of trophy hunter that the market loves to hate – the sort of trophy hunter who is seeking fame and notoriety.
“I have bought many art works by younger artists too, and I plan to share my collection at my museum as well as through loans to other institutions around the world,” Mr Maezawa said when asked to respond to any potential criticism of his actions.
“I believe collectors should purchase works that speak to them and that they love without hesitation or consideration for criticism. I buy artworks that are beautiful for me. That is the sole reason I buy,” he said.
There’s plenty to like about Mr Maezawa. His philanthropic endeavors, collecting activities, and his attitude and perception of the art market all suggest that he’s the sort of collector that should be supported – and he’s a wonderfully likable person to boot.


Billionaire Basquiat Collector Yusaku Maezawa Went Shopping at Leonardo DiCaprio’s St. Tropez Art Auction
Famous for his record-setting Basquiat purchase, the collector is adding a political dimension to his holdings.
Eileen Kinsella, August 2, 2017

Leonardo DiCaprio knows that if you want to sell a lot of art, you need to bring in the big guns.
Among the guests at the actor’s recent star-studded charity auction in Saint-Tropez was Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa. Best known for his record-setting $110.5 million purchase of a Basquiat at Sotheby’s in May, Maezawa went home from DiCaprio’s sale with a painting by Jenny Holzer titled Page 6 (2016), artnet News has learned.
A spokesperson for Maezawa says that Holzer is one of the collector’s favorite artists. The work is from her series of silk-screened paintings created from declassified government memos. The price was not disclosed, in keeping with the DiCaprio Foundation’s policy.
The work is the latest addition to the online retail billionaire’s rapidly growing collection. (Maezawa has set Basquiat’s auction record twice in as many years.)
Maezawa, who maintains a contemporary art foundation in Tokyo, is also planning to build a museum in nearby Chibo, where he will display some of his collection.
Meanwhile, DiCaprio’s auction raised a cool $30 million for his eponymous environmental foundation. A spokesman told artnet News that “it was an important night for female artists who for the first time figured largely in the auction.” The sale included work by Andrea Bowers, Tracey Emin, Paola Pivi, and Lynda Benglis.
Vanity Fair correspondent Derek Blasberg, seemingly the only journalist with a front-row seat to the festivities, reported that a large work by Urs Fischer sold for more than $2.5 million. (Fischer’s current record at auction is $6.8 million, set in 2011, according to the artnet Price Database.)
Blasberg also reports that a brief bidding war broke out between Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and DiCaprio over a large portrait of the actor by Julian Schnabel featuring the artist’s signature broken plates. DiCaprio reportedly beat out Weinstein for the work with a winning bid of $400,000. It seems only fair—it was his party, after all.




彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ個展 @ David Zwirner ニューヨーク

2013年に亡くなった彫刻家ルース・アイコ・アサワ (Ruth Aiko Asawa 1926 – 2013) は日本で知られていないと言えるでしょう。ニューヨークのDavid Zwirner Galleryでの個展のきっかけで、私のブログで簡単な形、作品、ビデオ映像や彼女の姿を紹介させていただきます。
その他に、2013年のNew York TimesとArt+Auction雑誌の記事やChristie'sのオークションハウスのプレスリリースを同封させていただきます。

彼女のホームページ: より:

Ruth Aiko Asawa (January 24, 1926 – August 5, 2013) was an American sculptor. Known in San Francisco as the "fountain lady", her work is included in the art collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She was a driving force behind the creation of the San Francisco School of the Arts,[3] which was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in 2010 in tribute to her.

Ruth Asawa was born in 1926 in Norwalk, California, one of seven children. Her father operated a truck farm until the Japanese American internment during World War II. The family lived in the assembly center at the Santa Anita racetrack for much of 1942, then at Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. Asawa's younger sister, Nancy (Kimiko), was visiting family in Japan while the family was interned. Nancy was forced to stay in Japan for the duration of the war. Her father, Umakichi Asawa, was arrested by FBI agents in February 1942, then interned at a detention camp in New Mexico. For six months following, the Asawa family did not know if he was alive or dead. Asawa did not see her father for six years.
Following her graduation from the internment center's high school, she attended Milwaukee State Teachers College, intending to become an art teacher. Unable to get hired for the requisite practice teaching to complete her degree, she left Wisconsin without a degree. (The degree was finally awarded to her in 1998.)
The summer before her final year in Milwaukee, Asawa traveled to Mexico with her older sister Lois (Masako). Asawa attended an art class at the Universidad de Mexico with Cuban refugee, Clara Porset. Friend of Josef Albers, Porset told Asawa about the Black Mountain College.
From 1946 to 1949, she studied at Black Mountain College with Josef Albers. Asawa learned to use commonplace materials from Albers, and she began experimenting with wire using a variety of techniques. Like all Black Mountain College students, Asawa took courses across a variety of different art forms, and this interdisciplinary approach helped to shape her artistic practice. She was particularly influenced by the Black Mountain College summer sessions of 1946 and 1948, which featured courses by artist Jacob Lawrence, photography curator and historian Beaumont Newhall, Jean Varda, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning, and R. Buckminster Fuller. According to Asawa, the dance courses she took with Merce Cunningham were especially inspirational.

In the 1950s, Asawa experimented with crocheted wire sculptures of abstract forms that appear as three-dimensional line drawings. She learned the basic technique while in Toluca, Mexico, where villagers used a similar technique to make baskets from galvanized wire. She explained:
I was interested in it because of the economy of a line, making something in space, enclosing it without blocking it out. It’s still transparent. I realized that if I was going to make these forms, which interlock and interweave, it can only be done with a line because a line can go anywhere.
Asawa's wire sculptures brought her prominence in the 1950s, when her work appeared several times in the annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and in the 1955 São Paulo Art Biennial.
In 1962, Asawa began experimenting with tied wire sculptures of images rooted in nature, geometry, and abstraction. "Ruth was ahead of her time in understanding how sculptures could function to define and interpret space," said Daniell Cornell, curator of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. "This aspect of her work anticipates much of the installation work that has come to dominate contemporary art."
In 1968, Asawa created her first representational work, a mermaid fountain in Ghirardelli Square on San Francisco’s waterfront, in which she mobilized 200 schoolchildren to mold hundreds of images of the city of San Francisco in dough, which were then cast in iron. Over the years, she went on to design other public fountains and became known in San Francisco as the "fountain lady".


Ruth Asawa, an Artist Who Wove Wire, Dies at 87
New York Times, August 17, 2013
Ruth Asawa, an artist who learned to draw in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II and later earned renown weaving wire into intricate, flowing, fanciful abstract sculptures, died on Aug. 6 at her home in San Francisco, where many of her works now dot the cityscape. She was 87.
Her daughter Aiko Cuneo confirmed the death.
Ms. Asawa had been shunted from one detention camp to another as a child before blossoming under the tutelage of the artists Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Franz Kline and Josef Albers. Gaining notice in the art world while still a student, she soon began building a wider following with abstract wire sculptures that expressed both the craftsmanship she had learned from Mexican basket makers as well as her ambition to extend line drawings into a third dimension. Many of these were hanging mobiles.
In 1968 she startled her admirers by creating her first representational work, a fountain in Ghirardelli Square on San Francisco’s waterfront. It had two mermaids — one nursing a “merbaby” — frogs, turtles, splashing water and a recording of frogs croaking.
Lawrence Halprin, the distinguished landscape architect who designed the waterfront space, had planned to install an abstract fountain. But after a long, unexplained delay, the developer chose Ms. Asawa for the job. Her creation set off a freewheeling debate about aesthetics, feminism and public art. Mr. Halprin, who had been a fan of Ms. Asawa’s abstractions, complained that the mermaids looked like a suburban lawn ornament.
Ms. Asawa countered with old-fashioned sentiment. “For the old, it would bring back the fantasy of their childhood,” she said, “and for the young, it would give them something to remember when they grow old.”
By and large, San Franciscans loved it. Ms. Asawa went on to design other public fountains and became known in San Francisco as the “fountain lady.” For a work in a plaza near Union Square, she mobilized 200 schoolchildren to mold hundreds of images of the city in dough, which were then cast in iron.
The work became the locus of a dispute this summer with Apple Inc., which wanted to remove the sculpture to make way for a plaza adjacent to a store it is building. After a public outcry, the company and the city promised to protect the sculpture, but the final disposition of the piece remains unresolved.
Ms. Asawa’s wire sculptures are in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In May, one of her pieces sold at auction at Christie’s for $1.4 million, four times its appraised value.
After the M. H. de Young Museum in San Francisco opened a new building in 2005, it installed 15 of Ms. Asawa’s most significant hanging wire sculptures at the base of its tower. As they drift with air currents, her large organic forms have been said to resemble a giant, eerie kelp forest.
Her work is inextricably linked to her life. “Glimpses of my childhood” inspired her, she once said. One memory, of sunlight pouring through a dragonfly’s translucent wing, was transmuted into the crocheted wire sculptures for which she first became known. In 1958, The New York Times wrote of their “gossamer lightness” and the way “the circular and oval shapes seem like magic lanterns, one within the other.”
Ms. Asawa said another influence came from riding on the back of horse-drawn farm equipment on the fruit and vegetable farms where her Japanese-American parents worked in California. She made patterns with her feet as they dragged on the ground.
“We made endless hourglass figures that I now see as the forms within forms in my crocheted wire sculptures,” she said in an interview with The Contra Costa Times in 2006.
A third influence — one she insisted was positive — was being held in internment camps with her family during the war, a fate that befell 120,000 Japanese-Americans, rounded up by the federal government for fear that they might aid the enemy. Her family spent the first five months of detention in stables at the Santa Anita Park racetrack. It was there that three animators from the Walt Disney Studios taught her to draw.
“I hold no hostilities for what happened; I blame no one,” she said in 1994. “Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the internment, and I like who I am.”

Ruth Aiko Asawa was born on Jan. 24, 1926, in Norwalk, a Southern California farming town. Her third-grade teacher encouraged her artwork, and in 1939, her drawing of the Statue of Liberty took first prize in a school competition to represent what it means to be an American.
In 1942 F.B.I. agents seized her father and sent him to an internment camp in New Mexico. Ms. Asawa did not see him for six years. Two months later, she, her mother and her five siblings were taken to the racetrack. After five months, they were taken to a camp in Arkansas, where Ms. Asawa graduated from high school.
In 1943, a Quaker organization arranged for her to attend Milwaukee State Teachers College, now the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to prepare to be an art teacher. She completed three years but was unable to earn her degree after being barred from a required student-teacher program because of her ethnicity.
Ms. Asawa then spent three years at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a magnet for budding artists and renowned teachers. There she befriended the choreographer Merce Cunningham and studied painting with Albers, whose theories on color were immensely influential. While still a student of his, in 1948, she caught the attention of a reviewer for The Times, who observed that her work “transformed Albers’ color-shape experiments into personal fantasy.”
Ms. Asawa had started exploring wire as an artistic medium after a trip to Mexico in 1947, when she noticed looped wire baskets being used in the markets to sell eggs and produce.
“I was interested in it because of the economy of a line, making something in space, enclosing it without blocking it out,” she explained. “It’s still transparent. I realized that if I was going to make these forms, which interlock and interweave, it can only be done with a line because a line can go anywhere.”
Ms. Asawa wore bandages to protect her hands when working with wire, but still suffered constant cuts. When young, her children were usually at her side while she worked.
Her husband of 59 years, Albert Lanier, an architect she met at Black Mountain, died in 2008. Their son Adam died in 2003. In addition to her daughter, Ms. Cuneo, she is survived by her sons, Xavier, Hudson and Paul Lanier; her daughter Addie Lanier; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Ms. Asawa supported arts education in San Francisco public schools, and in 2011, the one to which she was most devoted was renamed for her. For years Ms. Asawa maintained the grounds herself.
Her own educational experience came full circle in 1998, when the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which had prevented her from graduating a half-century earlier when it was a teachers college, sought to present her with an honorary doctorate. Ms. Asawa asked that she be awarded the bachelor’s degree instead.


ARTIST DOSSIER: Ruth Asawa's Late, Meteoric Rise From Obscurity
by Ashton Cooper, Art+Auction, 26/11/13
In 1947, a 21-year-old Ruth Asawa spent a summer in the rural Mexican town of Toluca, where she saw looped wire baskets for sale in a local market. Fascinated by their form, she learned how to make the baskets and, over time, appropriated the technique to create a body of hanging sculptural works that are as much about negative space as about physical objects.
“All my wire sculptures come from the same loop,” Asawa once said. “And there’s only one way to do it. The idea is to do it simply, and you end up with a shape.” She often described her modernist wire works, with their emphasis on line, light, and shade, as “drawings in space.” Light penetrating their chain mail–like surface casts intricate shadows on surrounding walls like ghostly doubles of the works themselves.

Asawa’s passing in August at age 87 came on the heels of an explosive upswing in the market for her unique and long-undervalued works, especially the multilobed sculptures, examples of which sold for $374,500 and $278,500 at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, respectively, in 2012. Then, at Sotheby’s contemporary art day sale on May 15 of this year, Asawa’s Untitled S.566 (Hanging Five-lobed Continuous Form with Spheres Inside Each Lobe, Four of the Inside Lobes Contain Spheres Within Them), from 1954, sold for $1,025,000, more than tripling its $300,000 low estimate. That evening at the postwar and contemporary sale at Christie’s New York, her Untitled (S.108, Hanging, Six-lobed, Multilayered Continuous Form Within a Form), from the late 1960s, soared well past its estimate of $250,000 to $350,000 to realize $1,443,750— the current record for the artist. To complement its May sale, Christie’s presented “Ruth Asawa: Objects & Apparitions,” a month-long exhibition and private offering of 48 sculptures and works on paper, her first New York solo show in 50 years.
Until recently, however, the San Francisco–based sculptor was not widely known beyond the West Coast, and her works commanded relatively little: $1,000 or so for pieces sold during the 1950s and ’60s, up to $100,000 for the largest works sold at the turn of the millennium. A breakthrough moment for Asawa’s commercial market came in 2006, when Daniell Cornell curated a retrospective of her work at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. “Ruth was ahead of her time in understanding how sculptures could function to define and interpret space,” he says. “This aspect of her work anticipates much of the installation work that has come to dominate contemporary art. Although a survey was long overdue, it was timely.”
Born in 1926 to Japanese immigrant parents, Asawa grew up on a vegetable farm in Norwalk, California, with six siblings. Shortly after Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, her family was sent to an internment camp on the grounds of the Santa Anita Race Track. There they lived for six months in converted horse stables along with several artists. Asawa would later recount that this was where her art education began. She later completed three years at the Milwaukee State Teachers College but was not able to undertake the required student-teaching year because schools in Wisconsin would not hire a Japanese instructor. This rejection prompted Asawa to enroll at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the summer of 1946. At that time, the faculty of the pioneering and experimental liberal arts school included Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and Jacob Lawrence; Willem de Kooning was a visiting artist, and Robert Rauschenberg was a classmate. It was also there that Asawa met her husband and lifelong companion, architect Albert Lanier.
By the late 1940s, Asawa had joined the San Francisco Women Artists group at the urging of friend Imogen Cunningham to “raise the level of women artists,” as Asawa would later recall in Daniel Belasco’s 2007 book Between the Waves: Feminist Positions in American Art, 1949–62. While she was certainly conscious of gender inequality in the art world, she never specifically attributed feminist intentions to her craft.
In 1954 Asawa had her first New York solo show at the Peridot Gallery, the same space that had given Louise Bourgeois her first solo sculpture show in 1949. This was followed by two more solos at Peridot, inclusion in the Whitney Museum’s annual survey of new art in 1955 (now the biennial), and an invitation to participate in the 1955 São Paulo Art Biennial. Despite these early successes, many critics were quick to characterize Asawa’s output as “women’s work” or “craft.”
“Asawa’s work was viewed as a variant of weaving or basket-making for a very long time,” says Todd Levin, director of the Levin Art Group and a member of the Association of Professional Art Advisors. “An artist such as Rosemarie Trockel now uses those techniques to great advantage and effect. But in Asawa’s time, the art world had just come through de Kooning and Pollock in the 1940s, and these were the gigantic personalities that drove the hypermasculine discourse of the 1950s.”
In 1968 Asawa began to focus more on civic engagement than her own practice, joining the San Francisco Arts Commission, where she campaigned for arts education reform. She also cofounded the Alvarado Arts Workshop, an education program that brought professional artists and performers into 50 San Francisco schools. “She found the time and energy required to keep up a gallery reputation to be a distraction from her love of art and her efforts to expand the role of the arts in creating a progressive, inclusive society,” explains Cornell, now deputy director for art and senior curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum. “Gradually her works fell out of favor and were stigmatized by the categories of design, craft, and community-based projects.”

While Asawa enjoyed respect in the museum world, particularly on the West Coast, and had a retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1973, she eventually abandoned commercial gallery shows in favor of making public sculptures. “Selling was not a focus of Asawa’s from the mid ’60s through the ’90s,” says Jonathan Laib, a senior specialist in postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, who curated the selling exhibition, noting that she did continue to make wire sculptures, including a single-lobed work around 1990 that looks like those from the 1950s.
Prior to Asawa’s 2006 retrospective at the de Young, it was still possible to find and purchase a major hanging work from a private collection for $50,000 to $100,000. After 2006, however, prices rose as auction houses began to reconsider the categorization of Asawa’s work. “We took Ruth out of the context of design and placed her in the context of the fine arts alongside other postwar masters, and doing this on an international platform helped to change her market overnight,” says Laib. The first big jump in price came in 2010. A 1952 work, Untitled (Continuous Form Within a Form) went for $98,500 at a June sale at Wright in Chicago; four months later, Untitled (Hanging Six-lobed, Multilayered Continuous Form Within a Form), from 1965–69, tripled its $180,000 high estimate to achieve $578,500 at Christie’s. “That came a little bit out of nowhere,” says Miety Heiden, senior vice president and head of contemporary private sales at Sotheby’s. “You don’t see her work that often at all at auction.”
Today, “there is a huge demand for Asawa and a scarcity of available work,” says Laib. “Anyone interested in Josef Albers and Black Mountain College has to have one; anyone looking to expand a collection past the predictability of today’s blue-chip artists has to have one.” The multilobed hanging works, particularly those done between 1955 and 1969, are very rare and the most sought after. Single- lobed works can be found for $70,000 to $250,000. The highest price for a smaller work was achieved at Christie’s during its postwar and contemporary morning sale on May 16, when Untitled (S.082, Hanging Single Sphere, Five-Layer Continuous Form Within a Form) from the early 1960s sold for $255,750, more than triple its $80,000 high estimate.
The popularity of Asawa’s signature looped wire sculptures has also brought attention to the tied-wire sculptures she began making in the early 1960s. These spindly tree branch–like pieces, which now start at $250,000, were going for as little as $18,750 in 2011. “There is a gap in pricing between the tied-wire and the looped-wire works,” acknowledges Laib, but he predicts that gap will close in the coming years.
So far, Asawa’s drawings, prints, and bronze sculptures have yet to achieve the lofty prices of the wire works. Prints from her 1965 residency at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop have sold for $3,500 to $3,800, while her drawings, which exhibit an early interest in the organic shapes found in her sculptures, have brought $3,000 to $6,000 at auction. Peter Loughrey, director of modern and contemporary art at Los Angeles Modern Auctions, has identified her lesser-known bronze sculptures from the 1970s as a good investment, saying, “there are some cast bronze pieces that are way undervalued.”
“When we first started exhibiting Ruth’s work, the most appreciative were the connoisseurs of this time period—largely dealers from New York who were aware and interested,” says Rena Bransten, whose San Francisco gallery is currently working with a yet-to-be-named institution on a West Coast touring show of Asawa’s lesser-known drawings. “Several key institutions that passed the work up in 2005 are [now] actively looking. In the eight years we have represented the work, the value has increased at least tenfold.”
This rediscovery of Asawa’s oeuvre, which comes in the wake of the reappraisal of other postwar design-art hybrids like Bertoia and Noguchi, will likely do much to secure the late artist’s place among the important figures of the American avant-garde. At press time, however, it was unclear how many of her works have yet to enter the market. Bransten held the last show of pieces still owned by Asawa in 2009, after which the ailing artist gave her remaining works—thought to include quite a few large hanging wire pieces— to her five children. Although Bransten had been Asawa’s primary dealer for a decade, the children have maintained a close relationship with Laib, who has sold works privately for the family in the past. “I think the family is just waiting,” Bransten says. “This last auction result of $1.4 million was enough to make them examine what they want to do and how they want to proceed. I wouldn’t think a lot was going to be released at this time.” 
This article was published in the October 2013 issue of Art+Auction. 


Christie's opens survey exhibition dedicated to American artist Ruth Asawa
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s presents a survey exhibition dedicated to one of America's most talented artists of the 20th century, Ruth Asawa. Objects & Apparitions is Asawa’s first major solo show in New York in over 50 years. This curated exhibition will feature an extraordinary grouping of approximately 50 works including sculpture and works on paper — for private sale or on loan— and will afford a rare and comprehensive view of the artist’s body of work. This exceptional three-week exhibition will take place on the 20th floor of 1230 Avenue of the Americas, at Rockefeller Center in May 2013. The exhibition coincides with the New York Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions in May of this year, and will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, with original texts by poet and art critic, John Yau, and Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. At the May 15th evening sale auction, Christie’s will offer a major sculpture from the Ruth Asawa Family Collection.

“It is an honor to present this survey of amazing and singular works by Ruth Asawa. The exhibition will trace Asawa’s artistic journey from her works on paper, created while studying with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, to her career as a pioneering modernist sculptor currently gaining international recognition. The large scope and stature of Asawa’s work will come into vivid focus in this exhibition that I had the pleasure of assembling with the assistance and guidance of Asawa’s incredible family. We are privileged to be able to present thirty-four sculptures and fourteen works on paper, with additional documentary source materials including vintage photographs of the artist and her work taken by the renowned photographer Imogen Cunningham. This exhibition is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City in over fifty years and Christie’s is pleased to be able to host this incredible event” stated Jonathan Laib, Christie’s, Senior Specialist, Post-War & Contemporary Art, curator of the exhibition.

On a journey to Mexico in the summer of 1947, Asawa was captivated by the looped wire baskets used in markets to sell eggs and other produce. Intrigued with wire as an exploratory medium for her own studies, she began to loop and twist wire in a similar fashion. Asawa began creating threedimensional forms that played with their surrounding space using one continuous line made of wire. These looped wire sculptures with their multi-layered exterior and interior forms invoke a sense of wonder that immediately turns to a curiosity about how they were made. These sculptures rely on the language of transparency that is associated with the formulation of modernism and design
promoted by the Bauhaus.

Asawa's looped wire forms were often executed in her home, with her six children surrounding her, creating a poetic narrative in which life intertwines with art. The maternal character of Asawa’s art recalls the organic forms of another important 20th century female artist, Louise Bourgeois, whose oversized outdoor bronze spider sculptures possess a similar sense of labored domesticity. Both artists touch on the notion of a mother figure weaving and threading her way through art and life as a means of reflecting upon personal experience. Similarly, Asawa's process and rhythmic wire loops bring to mind the early “Infinity Nets” created concurrently by Yayoi Kusama in the 1950s and 1960s. Though Kusama's nets were primarily graphic works on canvas, her paintings, like Asawa's looped wire sculptures, were created through the infinite repetition of a single calligraphic motion. Like Yayoi Kusama, Ruth Asawa creates mystery and profundity through deceptively simple means while giving form to the ineffable.

If Asawa became a groundbreaking modernist sculptor of abstract forms, she was first an extremely talented painter. The exhibit will present a series of works on paper from her time studying at the famed Black Mountain College and additional works created during her residency at the legendary Tamarind Institute. These works feature variations and meanders, bird and chevron motifs, and overlapping forms, creating multiple optical illusions, a vocabulary inspired by her studies with Josef Albers.

Evening sale Post-War and Contemporary Art - May 15, 2013
A major work from the Ruth Asawa Family Collection will be offered at auction on May 15. Estimated at $250,000-350,000, Untitled (S.108, hanging, six lobed, multi-layered continuous form within a form) — illustrated on page 2 — is one of the artist's largest and most intricate sculptures, incorporating her best-known form-within-a-form motif. With a length of 137 inches, Untitled (S.108) exists essentially as a drawing in space, an intertwining network of brass and copper wire. It was exhibited in the American Pavilion at the 1970 Osaka World’s Fair.

Ruth Asawa has lived a rare and unique life as an artist. Her life, like her art, has been shaped by social and political impositions, unjust restrictions on her liberties and supposed inalienable rights. As a teenager in the early 1940's, Asawa and her family were sent by Executive Order to an internment camp along with approximately 120,000 fellow Japanese-Americans. Under the tutelage of professional artists who were also held captive in the camps, Asawa began exercising freedom through her art while the government stripped her of her civil liberties. Despite the suffering she endured. Asawa exhibited great humility and harbored little resentment more than fifty years after the event, saying, "I hold no hostilities for what happened; I blame no one. Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the Internment, and I like who I am."

By 1946, Asawa had been recruited by fellow student Ray Johnson to attend Black Mountain College where, for the next three years she was mentored by such visionaries, as Josef and Anni Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Merce Cunningham and Buckminster Fuller. From the teachings of these legendary artists, Asawa absorbed fundamental lessons that instilled a “less is more” approach to art making. Asawa gained prominence with her wire sculptures in the 1950s. Her work appeared several times in the annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and in the 1955 São Paulo Art Biennial, but also in solo and group shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Oakland Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. She had major solo retrospective exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Art (1973), the Fresno Art Center (1978 and 2001), the Oakland Museum (2002), the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum (2006), and the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, 2007). Her work can be found in major collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She has received numerous awards including the Fine Arts Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts from the Women’s Caucus for Art. In 1982, February 12th was declared Ruth Asawa Day in San Francisco. The same year she was the driving force behind the creation of the public high school for the arts, which is now the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.


彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ

彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ

彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ

彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ

Installation view, David Zwirner New York

Installation view, David Zwirner New York

Installation view, David Zwirner New York

Ruth Asawa @ David Zwirner, New York
September 13 - October 21, 2017

Ruth Asawa
David Zwirner is pleased to announce the gallery's first exhibition dedicated to the work of Ruth Asawa since having announced the representation of the artist's estate earlier this year, which will take place at the 537 West 20th Street location. The exhibition will bring together a selection of key sculptures, paintings, and works on paper spanning Asawa's influential practice, as well as rare archival materials, including a group of vintage photographs of the artist and her work by Imogen Cunningham.

Born in rural California, Asawa began to make art while detained in internment camps for Japanese Americans at Santa Anita, California, and Rohwer, Arkansas, where she was sent with her family in 1942-1943. Following her release, she enrolled in Milwaukee State Teachers College, eventually making her way to Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946, then known for its progressive pedagogical methods and avant-garde aesthetic milieu. Asawa's time at Black Mountain proved formative in her development as an artist, and she was influenced there in particular by her teachers Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and the mathematician Max Dehn.

Asawa is best known for her extensive body of looped-wire sculptures that challenge conventional notions of material and form through their emphasis on lightness and transparency, which she began making in the late 1940s while still a student at Black Mountain. Their unique structure was inspired by a 1947 trip to Mexico, during which local craftsmen taught her how to create baskets out of wire. While seemingly unrelated to the lessons of color and composition taught in Albers's legendary Basic Design course, these works, as she explained, are firmly grounded in his teachings in their use of unexpected materials and their elision of figure and ground: "I found myself experimenting with wire. I was interested in the economy of a line, enclosing three-dimensional space. The lesson taught us by Albers was to do something with a material which is unique to its properties. The artist must respect the integrity of the material. I realized that I could make wire forms interlock, expand, and contract with a single strand because a line can go anywhere."1

Asawa executed her looped-wire sculptures in a number of complex, interwoven configurations throughout her career, a variety of which will be on view in the exhibition. These range from small spheres to long, elaborate examples of the artist’s “form within a form” compositions, in which she created nested shapes from a single continuous line of looped wire; as well as lesser-known forms including hyperbolic shapes, suspended cones, and interlocking spheres.

Also on view will be examples of Asawa's related tied-wire sculptures, a series begun in 1962, which like much of her oeuvre explore organic forms and processes. After having been gifted a desert plant whose branches split exponentially as they grew, Asawa quickly became frustrated by her attempts to replicate its structure in two dimensions. Instead, she utilized industrial wire as a means of sculpting, and in doing so studying its shape. In the ensuing decades, she created numerous hanging and wall-mounted variations on this form.

A selection of the artist's rarely seen paintings and works on paper, executed during her time at Black Mountain, will be presented alongside her three-dimensional works. For example, in her "In and Out" compositions, Asawa creates variations on a chevron pattern, utilizing subtle modifications to create a sense of depth and motion within the otherwise flat picture plane. In another group of works, she incorporates the simple shape of the Dogwood leaf, folded and overlapped into varying configurations, to compose dynamic color studies. In still another work, Asawa uses a "BMC" stamp from the school's laundry facility to create an allover, undulating composition. Seen in this context, the graphic optical effects deployed in these early compositions reveal the genesis of Asawa's interest in repeated forms, motion, and collapsing pictorial space that logically culminate in her wire sculptures.

On the occasion of the exhibition, a monographic catalogue will be published by David Zwirner Books, which will include new scholarship on Asawa's groundbreaking body of work by art historian Tiffany Bell, as well as an essay by Robert Storr, and an illustrated chronology.

Asawa's work will concurrently be on view in Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, the inaugural exhibition at David Zwirner's new Upper East Side location at 34 East 69th Street.

American sculptor, educator, and arts activist Ruth Asawa(1926-2013) is recognized both for her pioneering contributions to twentieth century sculpture as well as arts curricula in San Francisco and nationwide. She studied at Milwaukee State Teachers College, Wisconsin (1943-1946) and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1946-1949); and later received Honorary Doctorates from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland (now California College of the Arts; 1974), the San Francisco Art Institute (1997), and San Francisco State University (1998).

In addition to her wire sculptures, Asawa is well known for her public commissions, particularly in San Francisco and the wider Bay Area. These include the much beloved fountains in Ghirardelli Square (1968) and outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco (1973), the latter of which comprises hundreds of Baker's Clay images molded by local schoolchildren, friends, and other artists cast in bronze. Upon moving to San Francisco in 1949, Asawa, a firm believer in the radical potential of arts education from her time at Black Mountain College, devoted herself to expanding access to art-focused educational programs. She co-founded the Alvarado Arts Workshop in 1968 and was instrumental in the opening of the first public arts high school in San Francisco in 1982, which was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in her honor in 2010. Asawa believed that "Art will make people better, more highly skilled in thinking and improving whatever business one goes into, or whatever occupation. It makes a person broader."²

Asawa's work has been exhibited widely throughout the world since the early 1950s, including solo exhibitions at Peridot Gallery, New York in 1954, 1956, and 1958. In 1965, Walter Hopps organized a solo exhibition of the artist's sculptures and drawings at the Pasadena Art Museum (now Norton Simon Museum) in California, where the artist completed a residency at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop the same year. Other significant solo presentations include those held at the San Francisco Museum of Art (1973); Fresno Art Museum, California (traveled to Oakland Museum of California; 2001-2002); de Young Museum, San Francisco (2006); Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas (2012); and Norton Simon Museum of Art, California (2014).

The artist's work is represented in prominent museum collections, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Jose Museum of Art, California; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Asawa has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

1Stephen Dobbs, "Community and Commitment: An Interview with Ruth Asawa." Art Education(September 1981), p. 15.

²Ruth Asawa quoted in Douglas Martin, "Ruth Asawa, an Artist Who Wove Wire, Dies at 87," The New York Times(August 17, 2013), section A, p. 20.

Ruth Asawa
Untitled (S.693, Hanging Six Lobed, Two-Part, Complex Form within a Form with One Suspended Sphere in the Top Lobe), c. 1956
Hanging sculpture—brass and iron wire
72 1/4 x 15 x 15 inches (183.5 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm)

彫刻家 ルース・アイコ・アサワ


世界で一番の日本美術家 天才荒木経惟!(2)

先月の文章です、今日はPart 2。東京都写真美術館での歴史的な展覧会は今月24日まで!

世界で一番の日本美術家 天才荒木経惟!(1)
World’s No.1 Japanese Artist ‘Genius’ Nobuyoshi Araki! (1)


7月、安倍総理と自民党の「東京を世界で一番の都市に!」というスローガンがありました。「こんな人たちに負けない」と同じ文脈で、「世界で一番の日本美術家 天才荒木経惟!」と、論理的に間違いなく、声明いたします。
ご周知のように、昭和15年に東京下町で生まれたアラーキーは約55年間のアート・プラクティスを通じ、国民的な存在感で、主に「東京」の変形を作品化し、70年代世界のsex revolution、つまり、日本女性と日本男性の性的な開放運動に参加しました。彼の「sex、わいせつ、ヘアヌード」に対してのアプローチは、NHK、民法テレビ、新聞などでよく取り上げられております通り、世界的に有名なエロ名物男でございます。


北斎、歌川、春画 男同士。Apollinaire、Bataille、Dominique AuryのHistoire d’O。Madonna、Lady Gaga。Picasso、Bellmer、Balthus、Koons。草間彌生、四谷シモン、荒木経惟、会田誠、村上隆、木村了子。

体に受ける快い感覚、 性的魅力を生かすアーティストたち。

我が国の女男精神を鏡のように切り取り続けており、ろ過されていない 、扇情的な情緒。

Les Garçonnes開放運動の関係性を思考しますと、東京のブルジョア出身的品のよいモデルさまに汗を流すアラーキーとの撮影パフォーマンスは、快楽的、情熱的で、それは、社会の窮屈や社会の遵法を瞬時に離れることであり、エロ空想の世界に逃避する行為でございます。

自分の体験を言わせていただきますと、お嬢様モデルは、特に結婚前の方が多く、today I wanna be your bad, bad girlを演じるのが非常にお上手でございます。

昨年のパリ美術館「ギメ東洋美術館」個展の大成功に続き、現在、アラーキーの総合芸術(Gesamtkunstwerk)を、東京都写真美術館、東京オペラシティ アートギャラリー、RAT HOLE ギャラリーなどで鑑賞できます。
特に、TOP MUSEUMでの「センチメンタルな旅・冬の旅」の作品群に目頭が熱くなる方は少なくないでしょう。

亜 真里男

荒木経惟 センチメンタルな旅 1971-2017-
ARAKI Nobuyoshi: Sentimental Journey 1971-2017-

料金:一般 900(720)円/学生 800(640)円/中高生・65歳以上 700(560)円 ※ ( )は20名以上団体、当館の映画鑑賞券ご提示者、各種カード会員割引、当館年間パスポートご提示者(ご利用案内をご参照ください)/ 小学生以下、都内在住・在学の中学生および障害をお持ちの方とその介護者は無料/第3水曜日は65歳以上無料 ただし、7月28日(金)~8月25日(金)の毎金曜日18:00-21:00はサマーナイトミュージアム割引(一般 720円/学生・中高生 無料/65歳以上 560円 ※各種割引の併用はできません)

153-0062 東京都目黒区三田1-13-3


「センチメンタルな旅」 "Sentimental Journey" at TOP Museum


cccs courtesy creative common sense

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 次ページ


Mario A / 亜 真里男



8月 < > 10月

          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30



14/06/18 03:19
onecup photos
14/05/16 09:44
onecup photos
Lonesome Cowboy Richar...
14/04/03 02:27
onecup photos
13/11/24 01:57
13/07/22 04:33
onecup photos
13/02/22 04:47
12/09/23 02:23
Mario A / 亜 真里男
12/09/22 18:06
12/04/23 07:19
12/03/10 23:50
「Japan = Atom」 (2/2)



  • 本日: 454 hits
  • 累計: 20858 hits
  • ※過去30日の累計を