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TOP > TERRADA MAGAZINE > ART > An exhibition that puts Foujita in a new light

TERRADA MAGAZINE

ART2018.8.7

An exhibition that puts Foujita in a new light

Foujita: A Retrospective ― Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of his Death

【4WEB】《エミリー・クレイン=シャドボーンの肖像》

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita spent half of his long 80-year-plus life in France, where he was also laid to rest. In 2018, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing, a solo exhibition of unprecedented size will be held.

【6S】《猫》Of particular interest is the numerous early works being featured. His first self-portrait, a graduation project for the Tokyo Fine Arts School, and the paintings he created in Paris on the eve of World War I differ slightly from Foujita’s later style. The self-portraits that he painted continuously throughout his lifetime would eventually transform into his distinctive look with his bowl-cut hair and round glasses. As he yearned for success as a painter living in a foreign country, he was strongly conscious of what we would now call self-branding.

For this exhibition, more than ten nudes in Foujita’s signature “milky-white” style have been collected from Japan and abroad. It has been found through recent research that he used baby powder to achieve this lusciously soft white skin. Foujita cleverly used materials to craftworks that no other painters could imitate.

When he returned to Japan the year before the outbreak of the Pacific War, he cut his hair in a bowl-cut style and put his efforts toward surveying battlefields and painting records of the operations. His sweet and ornate paintings took a turn toward the gruesome, with soldiers falling on a brown- stained canvas. But after the war, he was condemned for the paintings he had believed he made for his country, and he went back to Paris as a means of escape. He would later acquire French citizenship, be baptized Catholic, and never set foot on Japanese soil again.

This retrospective lets visitors survey the paths Foujita took through more than 100 works. We can get a fresh look at his talents split into various motifs, including nudes, soldiers, children, and cats. Another point of interest is to view his playful self-consciousness as it appears on the canvas, entwined with the times. Foujita’s paintings always offer new discoveries.

Foujita: A Retrospective ― Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of his Death
Dates: July 31 (Tues) – October 8 (Mon, holiday), 2018
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum 8-36 Ueno-Park Taito-ku, Tokyo
Times: 9:30-17:30 (until 20:00 on Fridays; until 21:00 on Fridays in August; admission until 30 minutes before closing time) Closed Mondays and on September 18 and 25 (open August 13, September 17 and 24, and October 1 and 8)
Admission: 1,600 yen (general)
Contact: tel. 03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)
http://foujita2018.jp

(Text: Naoko Aono)

[Top]
Foujita, Portrait of Emily Crane Chadbourne, 1922, tempera and silver leaf on canvas,
The Art Institute of Chicago
© Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

[Bottom]
Foujita, Combat (Cats), 1940, oil on canvas. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
© Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

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