Current Exhibitions

  • March 12 - May 26, 2019

Laugh Off This Hopeless World: Fukuzawa Ichiro

A retrospective of an avant-garde painter who incorporated social criticism into his enigmatic images

April Fool, 1930, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo



Toilet Paper Hell, 1974, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma




              Fukuzawa Ichiro (1898-1992) is an artist who led the Western-style painting community in Japan from the prewar years of the Showa period to after World War II. In the prewar period, he introduced French Surrealism to Japan. At the same time, he expressed symbolic messages of social criticism and became a leader of avant-garde art movements. Despite oppression during the war, in the postwar era, he once again worked on large group portraits from a critical viewpoint on the society and received the Order of Culture in his later years.

              In the history of modern art in Japan, so far, Fukuzawa has almost always been discussed as the man who introduced Surrealism. However, in this exhibition, we shall focus on how he confronted the society throughout his lifetime as an artist. There are approximately 100 works presented from such a point of view including his early works with a touch of satire in the enigmatic images, his most important work, Group of Figures Defeated in Battle (1948), which is often referred to as the starting point of postwar art, and the series through which he attempted social criticism by adopting Western and Oriental images of Hell. Through his works versatile yet based on a consistent critical mind, we hope you will have an opportunity to consider the present-day significance of Fukuzawa’s artistic career, which he spent keenly observing the human being with intellectual humor.

Chapters

Chapter 1. Misanthropy: Studying in Paris

Chapter 2. Surrealism and Satire

Chapter 3. After Returning to Japan

Chapter 4. Activism (Active Humanism)

Chapter 5. Wartime Avant-garde

Chapter 6. Myths Reflecting Social Conditions of the Time (1)

Chapter 7. Primitivism as Criticism on Civilization

Chapter 8. In U.S.A.

Chapter 9. Myths Reflecting Social Conditions of the Time (2)

Chapter 10. Warnings to the Twenty-first Century

 

 

 

Main Works

Agitator, 1931, FUKUZAWA Ichiro Memorial Foundation


Oxen, 1936, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo


Woman, 1937, Tomioka City Museum / Fukuzawa Ichiro Memorial Gallery


Group of Figures Defeated in Battle, 1948, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma



Burial, 1957, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.


Will Evil Voltage Rise in the 21st Century?, 1986, Tomioka City Museum / Fukuzawa Ichiro Memorial Gallery


  

Location:
Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery

Date:
March 12 - May 26, 2019

Time:
10:00-17:00 ( Fridays and Saturdays open until 20:00 )
*Last admission : 30 minutes before closing.

Closed:
Mondays ( except March 25, April 1, 29, and May 6, 2019 ), and May 7, 2019

Admission:
Adults: ¥1,200( 900 )
College / University students: ¥800( 500 )
*Including the admission fee for MOMAT collection. Offer valid only on the same day.
*The price in brackets is for the group of 20 persons or more.
*All prices include tax.
*High school students and under 18 are free of charge.
*Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.

Organizer:
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Cooperated by:
The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma
Tomioka City Museum / Fukuzawa Ichiro Memorial Gallery
FUKUZAWA Ichiro Memorial Foundation



Art Museum

Address
3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322

ACCESS

CLOSED today

April 22, 2019 (Mon)