We DO ‘the Beginning of Contemporary Art’.
An exhibition entitled ‘The Beginning(Dawn) of Contemporary Art’ will be held from 14 July. The venue is GALLERY SCENA, a gallery we opened last year at Jingumae, Shibuya-ku or called the place of Harajuku.
This exhibition is also an exhibition to express the original form of “SCENA”.
“SCENA” opened last year as a contemporary art gallery.
Contemporary art is supposed to be a world that questions the very framework of ‘art’ itself, and it was essential to showcase the most exciting period of the post-war period, the two or three decades following the war.
It is important to show the “old days” even when dealing with contemporary art of the “present”.
And as we are dealing with works by deceased artists, the so-called ‘secondaries’, it is a job that we should naturally do.
This exhibition is the first of many.
In 1966, MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) held an exhibition introducing Japanese avant-garde art. Some of these artists are introduced here.
Takeo Yamaguchi, Genichiro Inokuma, Yoshishige Saito, Jiro Yoshihara, Waichi Tsudaka, Toshinobu Onosato, Kazuo Yagi, Kumi Sugai, Soichiro Tomioka, Sadamasa Motonaga, Kazuo Shiraga, Hisao Domoto, Atsuko Tanaka, Mokuma Kikuhata, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Takashi Hiraga, Tomio Miki.
(MOMA 1966 The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture)
MOMA 1966 Catalog
It is wonderful that these names have already been introduced more than 50 years ago. The catalogue of this exhibition frankly states that there are only a few Japanese Contemporary Art collectors and that avant-garde art is in a difficult situation.
It is true that at that time, works that were still cheap, traded for thousands of dollars and often went unsold into inventory, are now worth around millions of dollars if they are by Kazuo Shiraga or Atsuko Tanaka, for example. In this era, the pride of artists who followed the path of art, even if it meant they could not eat meals, has brought us to the present era.
The artists we will be selling at our exhibition are from the following line-up: we will be presenting around 30 artists, some of whom are mentioned here.
Takeo Yamaguchi, Kazuo Shiraga, Yoshishige Saito, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Nobuo Sekine, Lee Ufan, Tomio Miki, Kumi Sugai, Yukio Nakagawa, Tsuguharu Fujita and Seiji Togo.
Many of the works are small in size, but there are several works that are considered important, so the exhibition is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Some of you may wonder why the names of Yukio Nakagawa, Seiji Togo and Tsuguharu Fujita are included here.
Yukio Nakagawa is an avant-garde ikebana artist, but this time he is exhibiting calligraphy.
Dawn of Contemporary Art Exhibition catalogue index (partial)
Seiji Togo and Tsuguharu Fujita are not usually included in the genealogy of contemporary art. However, before the war, when an avant-garde art group called the Kyushitu(9th room group)-kai emerged within the Nika Exhibition Group, these two artists acted as advisers. This group, which included artists such as Takeo Yamaguchi , Yoshishige Saito and Jiro Yoshihara , who played an important role in the post-war period, was only active for a short time, but it is a chance encounter that should be seen.
A proper catalogue has been produced for this exhibition. Interested parties can request a copy via the link below.
‘the Beginning of Contemporary Art’ exhibition catalogue (1000 yen)
For information on the exhibition, please visit
GALLERY SCENA Selection Exhibition
the Beginning of Contemporary Art
Yoshishige Saito, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Nagao Yamaguchi, Kazuo Shiraga and others
14 Jul – 5 Aug 2023 @ GALLERY SCENA by SHUKADO