Past Exhibition Special Exhibition

Aso Saburo



Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery

About the Exhibition

Aso Saburo (1913–2000) was born in Tokyo and first interested in avant-garde paintings. His travel in Europe in 1938, however, made him recognize the importance of realistic representation anew. During the war when the freedom of expression was constrained, he formed the Shinjin Ga-kai (New Painters’ Group) with his friends including Matsumoto Shunsuke and Ai-Mitsu to maintain individual expression in the adverse situation. After the war, he developed expression that gets to the kernel of human existence as typified by the series Red Sky.

Human bodies in Aso’s works assert themselves against the steamrolling pressure from surrounding space, producing intense conflict on the picture plane. Emerging slowly from the chaotic space, their figures strongly impress us with the irreplaceableness of human existence. The more time we spend looking at his apparently elusive paintings, they speak the more.

Aso Saburo was a painter who never ceased to explore the relationship between real space and pictorial space while maintaining tension with society. His exploration will offer rich suggestions for today’s paintings. The first full-scale retrospective in fifteen years, this exhibition presents 134 pieces including oils, drawings and three-dimensional works spanning Aso’s career. We hope it can be an opportunity to review his exploration into pictorial expression and its present-day significance.

Hours & Admissions


Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery (1F)




10:00-17:00 (Friday is 10:00-20:00)
*Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.


Closed on Mondays


Adults: ¥850 (600)
College and university students: ¥450 (250)

*Including the admission fee for Suzuki Kiyoshi : Hundred Steps and Thousand Stories and Permanent Collection.
*The price in brackets is for the group of 20 persons or more.
*All prices include tax.
*Free for high school students and under 18.
*Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.


The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

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