Kobe Museum to House Works of Renowned Graphic Artist/Social Critic Tadanori Yokoo

KOBE ~ A museum dedicated to the works of contemporary Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo will open this fall on Nov. 3 in this western Japan port city with more than 3,000 paintings, prints and other works donated or entrusted by the artist himself, the Hyogo prefectural government said Saturday.

A prolific creative juggernaut, Yokoo, now 76, set the Japanese art world on fire beginning in the mid-1960s, and was widely recognized as Japan’s preeminent graphic designer, illustrator, printmaker and painter.

Yokoo unexpectedly “retired” from commercial work in 1981 and took up painting after seeing a Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (New York). His career as a fine artist continues to this day with numerous exhibitions of his paintings every year, but alongside this he remains fully engaged and prolific as a graphic designer.

Proclaimed the artist’s friend novelist Yukio Mishima in 1968: “Tadanori Yokoo’s works reveal all of the unbearable things which we Japanese have inside ourselves and they make people angry and frightened. He makes explosions with the frightening resemblance which lies between the vulgarity of billboards advertising variety shows during festivals at the shrine devoted to the war dead and the red containers of Coca Cola in American Pop Art, things which are in us but which we do not want to see.”

The four-story Yokoo museum, to be housed in a renovated pavilion belonging to a prefectural museum, will have exhibition rooms on the second and third floors while the first or ground floor will be an open studio for events for children and the fourth floor a base for research and studies of Yokoo’s works, it said.

Asaoka Ruriko in the Nude, 1971

A native of Nishiwaki city in the prefecture, Yokoo won fame when he was awarded the Grand Prize for Prints in 1969 at the 6th Paris Youth Biennale. He received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in the spring of 2011 as one of Japan’s most successful graphic designers and artists.

His works provided are estimated to be worth billions of yen combined, the local government said.

[House of Japan ~ Yokoo Museum to Open in Kobe] [Art Tattler ~ The Quest and Arc of a Painter and Graphic Designer over 50 Years] [The Japan Times ~ Close Up: Tadanori Yokoo ~ An Artist By Design]


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