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News from Living Japanese artists in 2012


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1. Takashi MURAKAMI          The Castle of Tin Tin (1998/2003)
3. Yoshitomo NARA      Untitled (2007)
4. Takashi MURAKAMI          Open Your Hands Wide, Embrace Happiness! (2010)
5.Yayoi KUSAMA       Pumpkin (1990)
6. Takashi MURAKAMI          Kanye Bear (2009)
7. Yayoi KUSAMA       “Red Nets, No. 19″ (1960)
8. Yayoi KUSAMA       “Pumpkin” (1990)
9. Yoshitomo NARA      Untitled (2008)
10. MARISOL      Andy (1962-1963)

The Top 10 was split between only three artists – unsurprisingly, the Japanese ‘Pop-stars’ Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama and Nara Yoshitomo. But although Murakami held the number one position, he was largely surpassed in terms of transactions by Yayoi Kusama, who alone accounted for five places in the ranking. As we know, the pair have a significant point in common: both have collaborated with Louis Vuitton! In 2012 it was the turn of Yayoi Kusama, who thus stole the limelight from Murakami.

In first place in the ranking, thanks to the acrylic “The Castle of Tin Tin”, Japan’s best-known artist Takashi MURAKAMI is no stranger to records.

2012 will go down in the annals as the year of Yayoi KUSAMA, the clear winner in the ranking – to nobody’s surprise. This was partly due to her travelling retrospective, which stopped off in some of the world’s most important museums, including the Whitney Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London.

Influenced by popular Japanese culture, mainly mangas, television, graffiti, punk and American comics, Yoshitomo NARA is well-known for his representations of children and animals. Whether paintings, sculptures or drawings, his works link violence and coldness with childlike innocence.

In 2012, the Pop movement still dominated the landscape of the top bids achieved by living Japanese artists. With the first American retrospective devoted to the Gutai movement at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (15 February to 8 May 2013), visitors will discover another facet of Japanese art.

(From, 2/15, 2013)

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