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Past Exhibition

Special 50th Memorial Exhibition:
Kawabata Ryūshi
Nihonga Goes Beyond the Bounds

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Seeds of Grasses, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1931,
Ryushi Memorial Museum
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Kinkakuji Temple on Fire, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1950,
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
(On display 7/25~8/20)

24 June (Sat.) – 20 August (Sun.) 2017
(Closed on Mondays)

Hours:10 am - 5 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Admission Fees: Adults: 1,200 [1,000] yen; university and high school students: 900 [800] yen; middle school and younger children: free of charge
*Figures in brackets are for groups of 20 or more, advance tickets, and those who are wearing kimono.
*Disability ID holders and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.

Organized by: Yamatane Museum of Art and Nikkei Inc.

Highlights of the Exhibition

All works are created by Kawabata Ryūshi.
Approximately 70 masterpieces of Kawabata Ryūshi from Yamatane Collection and other collections are on display during the above period.

Lion and Peonies, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1928, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 7/25~8/20)
Maelstroms at Naruto, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1929, Yamatane Museum of Art
Pearl Divers, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1931, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 6/24~7/23)
The Black Current, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1932, Yamatane Museum of Art
Three Cranes, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1935, Yamatane Museum of Art
Moonlight, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1933, Yamatane Museum of Art
Carp, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1939, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 6/24~7/23)
Yatsuhashi, Eight-planked Bridge in Iris Garden: Scene from the Tales of Ise, Color on Gold-Leafed Silk, Shōwa Period, 1945, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 7/25~8/20)
Plum: Purple Dusk, from Pine, Bamboo, and Plum. Joint Work by Yokoyama Taikan, Kawai Gyokudō, and Kawabata Ryūshi, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1955, Yamatane Museum of Art
Divine Light of Love: Morning, Evening, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1918, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (On display 6/24~7/23)
Scroll of Bullfight, Color on Paper, Taishō Period, 1922, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Kinkakuji-Temple on Fire, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1950, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (On display 7/25~8/20)
Praying-for-Rain Mandala, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1929, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Seeds of Grasses, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1931, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Giant Waterspout, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1933, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Mount Xianglu, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1939, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Bomb Exploding, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1945, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Children Playing with an Elephant, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1949, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Dream, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1951, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Eleven-Headed Kannon, Bodhisattva of Mercy, Ink and Light Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1958, Ryushi Memorial Museum
Chalky White and Deep Blue, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1962, Tokyo Art Club

Exhibition Overview

Kawabata Ryūshi (1885-1966) was a Nihonga artist strongly committed to demolishing conventional ideas. A heroic figure active outside the mainstream twentieth-century art world, he called for the creation of vigorous art and, throughout his career, continued to paint works that appealed to the masses. To commemorate Ryūshi’s death a half century ago, the Yamatane Museum of Art is presenting a retrospective exhibition that provides a full view of his ouerve, through masterworks from his early through his late period.

Ryūshi initially studied Western-style painting. In his twenties, when he was producing illustrations for newspapers and magazines, he mastered a journalistic approach that presents a bird’s eye view of social conditions in his time. Returning to Japan after going to the United States to study Western-style painting, he changed directions, becoming a Nihonga artist. Teaching himself Nihonga, he became a senior member of the Reestablished Inten (Japan Art Institute Exhibition), but his large paintings, which combined bold ideas and colors, were criticized as “art for exhibition purposes.” After leaving the Inten, he founded the Seiryūsha, in 1929, and continued his defiant efforts to destroy the framework of the Nihonga art world. The forceful, large-scale paintings that Ryūshi presented led to his being regarded as “the Shōwa period’s Kanō Eitoku.”

This exhibition includes materials from his early, Western-style period, his work as an illustrator, paintings he exhibited in the Inten, and the landmark Maelstroms at Naruto and Praying-for-Rain Mandala, which he showed in the first Seiryūsha exhibition. To present his journalistic spirit, it also includes Bomb Exploding and Kinkakuji-Temple on Fire. The exhibition also features his Mount Xianglu, a huge work (over 7.2 meters wide) that is emblematic of “art for exhibition purposes.” Ryūshi was also an accomplished haiku poet and member of Hototogisu, a prominent haiku journal. The exhibition includes the haiku that he continued to compose, one poem a day, as well as works that indicate his love of small children and other works and related materials being exhibited for the first time.


Bomb Exploding
Ryushi Memorial Museum

Mount Xianglu
Ryushi Memorial Museum

Children Playing with an Elephant
Ryushi Memorial Museum 

Giant Waterspout
Ryushi Memorial Museum

Divine Light of Love: Morning, Evening
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
(On display 6/24~7/23)

Maelstroms at Naruto
Yamatane Museum of Art

Yatsuhashi, Eight-planked Bridge in Iris Garden:
Scene from the Tales of Ise

Yamatane Museum of Art
(On display 7/25~8/20)
3-12-36 Hiroo Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012  TEL: +81-3-5777-8600
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