My Favorites: Toshio Hara Selects from the Permanent Collection

Dates : Part I: January 6 (Saturday) – March 11 (Sunday) 2018
Part II: March 21 (Wednesday/national holiday) – June 3 (Sunday) 2018

Since he started the Hara Museum in 1979 as one of Japan’s first museums dedicated to contemporary art, the director Toshio Hara has devoted himself to the promotion of international exchange and the advancement of art and culture through the holding of special exhibitions, international traveling shows and other activities. This permanent collection show, which stands out as the first to be curated by Toshio Hara himself, features works that he personally selected from the collection’s approximately 1,000 pieces of post-1950s art which spans the entire spectrum of media from painting, sculpture and photography to video art and installation. The first of this two-part exhibition focuses on artworks collected during the first decade or so of the collection’s history, from the late ’70s through the first half of the ’80s, while the second showcases works that have appeared in exhibitions held at the museum over the years. Together they provide an introduction to the museum over its almost 40-year history, as well as the major art trends that have prevailed from the middle of the 20th century onward.

Introduction by Toshio Hara, Director of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

“When I was 40, I got the idea of starting a museum of contemporary art and thus began to collect artworks. To the extent that I could, I visited artists in their ateliers and homes to get to know them and their work, even going abroad to do so. I thus built up the collection by not only looking at artwork, but also talking with the artists in order to understand the mind behind the creations. It’s an approach that I’ve continued to use to the present day. As a result, the collection is both the face of the museum and a record of my own journey of discovery in the world of art.
The sudden desire to share some of my favorite pieces from the collection led to the decision to personally curate this exhibition. It is, however, not easy to choose from more than a thousand works. For this reason, the exhibition at the Hara Museum will be divided into two parts, with Part I focusing on works collected during the period from 1977 when the Foundation Arc-en-Ciel was established, through the first half of the 1980s shortly following the opening of the museum, while Part II focuses on works added to the collection during the course of the museum’s activities.”

Works Selected for the Exhibition

Part I showcases artworks acquired during the decade or so from 1977 when the Foundation Arc-en-Ciel was first established. These include works by major figures who came to define the art of their times, such as the abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko; the neo-dadaists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns; and Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and other figures of the Pop Art movement that came to dominate the art scene. Also included are members of the European avant-garde who infused their art with an experimental spirit, such as the painters Jean Dubuffet and Karel Apel, the sculptors Arman, César Baldaccini, Jean Tinguely and others. Leading figures of post-WWII Japan include Toshimitsu Imai, On Kawara, Tetsumi Kudo and Aiko Miyawaki. Japanese artists still active today include Yayoi Kusama, Ushio Shinohara, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lee Ufan. Also featured are works by Nam June Paik and Ai Weiwei, two Asian artists who have exerted considerable influence throughout the world.
Part II focuses on artists from both Japan and abroad whose artworks were featured in solo or group exhibitions at the Hara Museum. This group encompasses all mediums and includes both artists with long established careers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, William Kentridge, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Yoshitomo Nara, and relative newcomers such as Masako Ando, Kohei Nawa, Mickalene Thomas and Izumi Kato. All are characterized by a unique style and original approach towards their medium and subject matter.

List of Artists

Part I: Ai Weiwei, Josef Albers, Karel Appel, Arman, César, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, Erró, Lucio Fontana, Buckminster Fuller, Willem de Kooning, Toshimitsu Imai, Jasper Johns, On Kawara, Tetsumi Kudo, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tomio Miki, Aiko Miyawaki, Nam June Paik, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, George Rickey, Mark Rothko, Edward Ruscha, Ushio Shinohara, Kumi Sugai, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Takis, Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Lee Ufan

Part II: Masako Ando, Nobuyoshi Araki, Jan Fabre, Izumi Kato, William Kentridge, Yasumasa Morimura, Yoshitomo Nara, Kohei Nawa, Mika Ninagawa, Rika Noguchi, Malick Sidibe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tabaimo, Mickalene Thomas, Adriana Varejaõ, Miwa Yanagi