Contemporary Art

All posts tagged Contemporary Art

This Is How Iconic Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama Was Reintroduced to the West

by Alexandra_Munroe on October 13, 2016

By Estelle Tang
Originally published on

Beloved of art tastemakers, the fashion world, and casual museum Instagrammers, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is now a universal figure of inspiration and intrigue.

Eyes on Fire: Reimagining Kusama from Alexandra Munroe on Vimeo.

Read More

Alexandra_MunroeThis Is How Iconic Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama Was Reintroduced to the West

New Video: Japanese Art after 1945 Scream Against the Sky

by Alexandra_Munroe on May 20, 2016

Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky
From the new video series: Eyes on Fire with Alexandra Munroe

Produced by: Sartorian Ventures
Photographed by: Amy Khoshbin and Matt Stanton
Edited by: Amy Khoshbin
Music by: Andre Mistier

Photo credits and copyright notices:

Produced by: Sartorian Ventures
Photographed by: Amy Khoshbin and Matt Stanton
Edited by: Amy Khoshbin,
Music by:

Playing With Gods III: At Night, 1991
Computer-manipulated color photograph
141 ¾ x 98 3/8 in.
Yokohama Museum of Art
Courtesy of the artist and Yoshiko Isshiki Office, Tokyo

Protest, Tokyo, 1969
Gelatin silver print
11 3/8 x 16 in.
Collection of the artist
© Shomei Tomatsu – INTERFACE

Red Circle on black, 1965
Acrylic on canvas
71 ¾ x 89 ¾ in.
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

Untitled, 1959
Oil on canvas
70 7/8 x 110 in.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
T.B. Walker Acquisition fund, 1998

Outdoor Gutai Art Exhibition, Ashiya Park
Ashiya, July 27–August 5, 1956
Osaka City Museum of Modern Art, GA 10

HIJIKATA Tatsumi performing Hijikata Tatsumi and The Japanese – Revolt of the Flesh at the Seinen Kaikan hall, Tokyo, 1968
Photo: Nakatani Tadao
Courtesy of Butoh Laboratory Japan

YANAGI Yukinori
Hinomaru Illumination, 1993
Neon and painted steel, with ceramic haniwa figures
Neon flag 118 1/8 x 177 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.; each haniwa approx. 39 3/8 in. high
Installation at Artec’93, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya
Courtesy of Yanagi Studio
YANAGI Yukinori
Hinomaru Illumination, 1993
Installation at Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York for Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky, 1995
Courtesy of Yanagi Studio

Atsuko Tanaka wearing her Electric Dress suspended from the ceiling at the 2nd Gutai Art Exhibition, 1956
© Kanayama Akira and Tanaka Atsuko Association

Electric Dress (DenkiFuku), 1956/1986
Painted light bulbs, electric cords, timer, and controle console
65 x 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
Takamatsu Art Museum
© Kanayama Akira and Tanaka Atsuko Association

Various Artists
Fluxkit, 1965
Vinyl-covered attaché case, containing objects in various media
13 3/8 x 17 1/2 x 4 15/16 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift

Saburo MURAKAMI making Six Holes before the opening of the 1st Gutai Art Exhibition
Ohara Hall, Tokyo, October 19-28, 1955
©Makiko Murakami, Courtesy of the Estate of Saburo Murakami and ARTCOURT Gallery

YOSHIMURA Masunobu advertising the third exhibition of Neo Dada Organizers in Tokyo streets, 1960
Photo by Takeo Ishimatsu
Oita Art Museum, Oita

Yayoi Kusama
No. F, 1959
Oil on canvas, 41 ½ x 52 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Sid R. Bass Fund
© Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.

Yoko Ono
“Voice Piece for Soprano”, Autumn 1961
Yoko Ono. Grapefruit. A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970.

Special thanks to artists, institutions and individuals for their assistance.

Read More
Alexandra_MunroeNew Video: Japanese Art after 1945 Scream Against the Sky

MoMA Film Screenings: An Evening with Yoko Ono and Alexandra Munroe

by Alexandra_Munroe on July 9, 2015

An Evening with Yoko Ono and Alexandra Munroe
The Museum of Modern Art
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

As many of you know or have gathered from my scholarship on Yoko Ono, she is one of my dearest friends.  Whether sitting around a kitchen table or in more canonized theatres, at this point in our relationship, the most valued time I spend with her are the conversations we have together.

I’m honored to have been invited by MoMA, as part of their ongoing exhibition Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971, to share an evening screening a few seminal films including Yoko’s feature-length film “Rape” (1969)(a collaboration with John Lennon), Film No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966; short version), and Takahiko iimura’s film, Ai (Love) (1962).

Afterwards, Yoko and I will reflect on these films, with Yoko’s characteristic insight, humor and compassion.

I invite you to join us next Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at New York’s MoMA.
Tickets and more information here:

Read More
Alexandra_MunroeMoMA Film Screenings: An Evening with Yoko Ono and Alexandra Munroe

Take Away My Authority

by Alexandra_Munroe on May 15, 2012

Originally published in Model Home, A Proposition by Michael Lin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher.

The aim of this show is to take away my authority and to bring in as many other people as possible…. A lot of things are being left open. not because of lack of time but because the material of the process is the subject.

Michael Lin[1]

In this kind of space, science turns into poetics. Architecture becomes the framework in which this can occur.
Yoshihara Tsukamoto[2]

In 1971, the Italian artist Alghiero e Boetti travelled to Afghanistan and set up an embroidery workshop at a hotel in Kabul. Working with local antiquities dealers, he gathered a group of craftswomen to produce a hand-embroidered map of the world. Following the artist’s directives, the Afghan embroiderers represented each country’s territory by the patterns and colors of its national flag. This relationship, subverting divisions between artist  and maker and giving concept, method and process equal significance in the final work of art, engaged Boetti until his death in 1994 and resulted in his bestknown series, Mappa. At first, Boetti was meticulous in laying out each new map, selecting the color thread for each diagram and checking errors as work progressed over months or years. But as the series continued, he became interested in the chance mistakes the anonymous, commonly illiterate Afghan women made, particularly in their choice of color for the ocean, whose nature they had never seen: the blue morphed into green, purple, and even pink. National flags changed, too, as new territorial divisions and political identities came into being in the wake of wars, revolutions and regime changes. Inscriptions in Farsi drafted by Boetti’s coordinators make up the borders of each Mappa, usually recounting the circumstances of the local production, quoting Sufi poetry, and dating works according to the Islamic Afghan calendar. After the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 by Russian troops, Boetti’s production moved to Peshawar in Pakistan, where the group of Afghans had taken refuge.

Read More
Alexandra_MunroeTake Away My Authority

Presentation: “Imagining Asia in Contemporary Chinese Art”

by Alexandra_Munroe on April 18, 2012

This presentation was delivered in conjunction with a panel CHINA IN ASIA/ASIA IN CHINA: Imagining Asia in Contemporary Chinese Art, organized by Columbia University and Asia Art Archive in America. From the perspective of contemporary visual art practice, this panel interrogate the role of China in Asia and Asia in China from multiple perspectives.

Read More
Alexandra_MunroePresentation: “Imagining Asia in Contemporary Chinese Art”