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“Foujita: A Retrospective” exhibition


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

    31 July – 8 October 2018
    Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

    Read also: BENTO exhibition

    Tsuguharu Fujita (Léonard Foujita 1886-1968) is counted among the great painters of the School of Paris. Born in Japan, he spent more than half of his life in France.

    This exhibition is organized to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s demise. It will shed light on his art from multiple angles, ranging from landscape, portrait and nudity to religious themes, while incorporating the latest research findings.

    A most comprehensive retrospective of Foujita

    Among more than 100 paintings to be displayed include carefully selected works from major museums, such as the Pompidou Center, the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium at Brussels, the Petit Palais museum in Switzerland, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Some of these works will be shown for the first time in Japan. More than ten nude paintings in milky white tones, the brushwork most emblematic of the artist, will also be exhibited.

    Foujita with many facets

    The exhibition will offer an opportunity to rediscover Foujita’s unusual yet attractive character, with his self-portraits in bobbed hair and round spectacles – the artist’s signature style, his muses, handmade objects that adorned his atelier and beloved cats.

    It is also an occasion to learn about the secret of his canvasses. Foutita applied to them multiple layers of oil, water and talc, thereby to obtain a finish in milky white, on which he traced fine black lines.

    What not to miss at the Foujita exhibition

    His debut in Paris

    Foujita arrived in Paris in 1913 at the age of 27. In the 1910s, he produced works of modern and figurative art under the influence of Cubism and various currents. The artist forged a friendship with Modigliani and Soutine, among others.

    Two Girls 1918 Photo: Studio Monique Bernaz, Genève © Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

    Self-portraits in the 1920s

    The self-portraits on display includes one with the artist in bobbed hair and round spectacles painted in 1921, just after his debut in Paris. Also presented at the exhibition, another self-portrait depicts the painter surrounded by his favourite objects and a cat in his atelier, produced at the time when he became a popular artist.

    Self-Portrait 1929 © Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

    Portraits in the 1920s

    In the 1920s, Foujita notched his first successes as a painter in France. He received orders of portraits from celebrities. His paintings made a sensation at the Salon d’Automne.

    Portrait of Emily Crane Chadbourne 1922 © The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY
    © Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

    20 years after the war: Tokyo, New York and Paris

    After the Second World War, Foujita left Japan in 1949. He spent a year in New York, before settling again in Paris and obtaining the citizenship of France where he spent the rest of his life.

    At the Café 1949 Photo © Musée La Piscine (Roubaix), Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Arnaud Loubry / distributed by AMF © Fondation Foujita / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017 E2833

* The above is the information known at the time of publication and subject to change without prior notice.

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