Past Exhibition Special Exhibition

Kataoka Tamako: The 110th Anniversary of Her Birth



Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery


The nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist Kataoka Tamako (1905-2008) was born in Sapporo. After graduating from the Women’s School of Fine Arts (now Joshibi University of Arts and Design), she repeatedly submitted her works mainly to the Saiko Inten (Restored Japan Art Institute Exhibition).

Tamako’s works are characterized by striking colors, daring forms created by omitting or exaggerating the details, and powerful brushstrokes. Her uninhibited attitude was peerless among other artists at the Japan Art Institute after the Second World War.

Tamako’s works were conceived persistently by confronting the subject devotedly. She would stare at the subject before her eyes and grasp it by tugging it strongly towards her own senses of color and form. This method was applied not only to her representations of landscapes but also when depicting subjects such as historical characters, who did not exist before her eyes. The historical figures Tamako portrayed as people living in modern times were entirely different in character from conventional


In her later years, Tamako also worked on a new subject of nude women. The way she endeavored to capture the form and mass faithfully to the subject before her eyes in lines and colors demonstrates her enthusiasm as an artist who continuously questioned the significance of painting. Such an attitude was shared by the artists of the Japan Art Institute at the time of its foundation and is also taken over in the attempts made by the younger generation of artists who endeavor to transcend the framework of conventional nihonga.

In this exhibition, Tamako’s achievements as a painter are traced through approximately sixty representative works along with forty or so items carefully selected from the vast amount of sketches and materials she left. By displaying how she confronted the world before her eyes and how she captured that world, the essence of this artist’s art and its present-day significance are explored

Hours & Admissions


Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery


April 7(Tue) – May.17(Sun),2015


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


Closed on Mondays (except May 4, 2015)


Day ticket (Group of 20 persons or more)
Adults: ¥1,400 (1000)
College / University students: ¥900 (600)
High school students: ¥400 (200)
*All prices include tax.
*Middle school age and under 15 are free of charge.
*Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.
*Including the admission fee for Osaka Expo ’70 Design Project and MOMAT Collection.

Organized by

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Nikkei Inc.

With the sponsorship of

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.

With the assistance from

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.

With the special assistance from

Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Traveling to

Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (June 12 – July 26, 2015)

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