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Yoshitomo Nara is among the most beloved Japanese artists of his generation. His widely recognizable portraits of menacing figures reflect the artist’s raw encounters with his inner self. Nara’s oeuvre takes inspiration from a wide range of resources―memories of his childhood, music, literature, studying and living in Germany (1988–2000), exploring his roots in Japan, Sakhalin and Asia, and modern art from Europe and Japan.
Spanning 35 years (1985 to 2020), this book―which accompanies the major career retrospective organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art―presents the full range of Nara’s work. It also examines the artist’s work through the lens of his longtime passion―music―and features “liner notes” written by the artist about various albums in his personal collection of 1960s and 70s folk and rock albums, published in English for the first time.
The book features paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramic figures, an installation that re-creates his drawing studio, and never-before-exhibited idea sketches that reflect the artist’s empathic eye, shining a light on Nara’s conceptual process. Readers will see the evolution of a dynamic artist who has become more contemplative with age.
Yoshitomo Nara was born in 1959 in Aomori, Japan, and graduated with a master’s degree from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music and later studied at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. In the fall of 2010, the Asia Society in New York presented the first major New York exhibition of his work. He is represented by Pace Gallery and Blum & Poe.