Modern Art

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artnet: 5 Things We Learned About Yayoi Kusama From the New Documentary About Her Extraordinary Life

by Alexandra_Munroe on September 10, 2018

5 Things We Learned About Yayoi Kusama From the New Documentary About Her Extraordinary Life


Sarah Cascone

5 Things We Learned About Yayoi Kusama From the New Documentary About Her Extraordinary Life

The new documentary illuminates Kusama’s creative genius and great ambition, as well as her struggles, over the years.

Yayoi Kusama in the Orez Gallery in the Hague, Netherlands (1965) in Kusama – Infinity, directed by Heather Lenz. Photo by Harrie Verstappen, courtesy Magnolia Pictures.
Yayoi Kusama in the Orez Gallery in the Hague, Netherlands (1965) in Kusama – Infinity, directed by Heather Lenz. Photo by Harrie Verstappen, courtesy Magnolia Pictures.

Today, Yayoi Kusama is an art-world superstar, with museum-goers around the world lining up for hours for the chance to take photographs of—and with—her mirrored Infinity Rooms and polka-dotted pumpkins. And yet, the Japanese artist has lived in a mental hospital since the 1970s, suggesting an unseen dark side to her colorful universe. As a new documentary reveals, the road to success was a long and winding one that tested the artist’s drive, resiliency, and, ultimately, her sanity.

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Alexandra_Munroeartnet: 5 Things We Learned About Yayoi Kusama From the New Documentary About Her Extraordinary Life

Art in America: FAREWELL OUR GLOBALISM

by Alexandra_Munroe on December 5, 2017

FAREWELL OUR GLOBALISM

EXCERPT from the originally published article in Art in America
http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazine/farewell-our-globalism/
Dec. 01, 2017
by Richard Vine

First the good news. “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,” now appearing at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through January 7, samples China’s most fertile and challenging post-Mao period of art production in ways that are stimulating for specialists and general viewers alike. Organized by three experts intimately involved in the history they present—Alexandra Munroe, the Guggenheim’s senior curator of Asian art; Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing; and Hou Hanru, artistic director of MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Art, in Rome—the exhibition eschews a strict chronological format. Instead, it strives, through savvy and sometimes unexpected selections, creatively mixed, to convey the ferment of a time in China when liberation was in the air, anything seemed possible, and avant-garde artists, at first little appreciated (and sometimes persecuted) at home, sought to take their place in the global art system. The realization that those times have sadly changed is due in equal measure to a cultural revanchism in the People’s Republic of China and a resurgence of moral provincialism in the United States.

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Alexandra_MunroeArt in America: FAREWELL OUR GLOBALISM

Video: Alexandra Munroe on the Asian Art Initiative

by Alexandra_Munroe on June 6, 2017

Originally Published on The Guggenhiem’s YouTube Channel

Alexandra Munroe discusses the theoretical evolution of the “No Country” exhibition, the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative and Asian Art Council, and the ways in which the institution might evolve to become still more transnational. She also discusses previous Guggenheim exhibitions that have featured artists from Asia, including its large-scale retrospectives of Lee Ufan and Cai Guo-Qiang, “new generation” shows like “Being Singular Plural,” and the recent Gutai survey.

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Alexandra_MunroeVideo: Alexandra Munroe on the Asian Art Initiative

[Premiere] How a ‘Scream’ of Post-War Japanese Art Pioneered Modernism

by Alexandra_Munroe on October 29, 2016

By DJ Pangburn
Originally published on VICE: Creators Project

These days, Japanese artists like Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami pull big crowds and even bigger price tags, but it wasn’t always so. Vibrant though it was, the Japanese avant-garde was relatively unknown to Western audiences for most of the 20th century. This began to change in 1996 when scholar and author Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Global Arts at the Guggenheim Museum, debuted the exhibition Scream Against the Sky, which featured work by Murakami, Lee Ufan, Cai Guo-Qiang, and others.

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Alexandra_Munroe[Premiere] How a ‘Scream’ of Post-War Japanese Art Pioneered Modernism

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, https://tinyscissors.com
Music by: http://theadversarymusic.com

MORIMURA Yasumasa
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

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

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

SHIRAGA Kazuo
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

Atsuko TANAKA
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.

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Alexandra_MunroeNew Video: Japanese Art after 1945 Scream Against the Sky