Henry Art Gallery

University of Washington

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Exhibitions:

2001 Exhibitions:

Superflat

Stroum Gallery

November 10, 2001March 3, 2002


Image 1 / 7: Superflat.

Image 2 / 7: Superflat.

Image 3 / 7: Superflat.

Image 4 / 7: Superflat.

Image 5 / 7: Superflat.

Image 6 / 7: Superflat.

Image 7 / 7: Superflat.

“Superflat” was organized by Tokyo-based artist and curator Takashi Murakami. Murakami coined the term ‘superflat’ to describe the simplified and increasingly two-dimensional forms that have become the staple of a hip, new visual language employed by a generation of young Japanese artists. Tracing this phenomenon back to the so-called ‘eccentric’ painters of 17th-century Japan and the ‘flat’ images of 17th, 18th and 19-century Japanese printmakers, Murakami links their traditional patterns to efficient tricks of today’s animation, particularly anime and manga. The exhibition showcased painting, photography, works on paper, video, fashion, computer animation, cartoons, and sculpture. In addition to a site-specific piece and the exhibition design by Murakami, the event included the work of animation designers Yoshinori Kanada and Koji Morimoto; digital illustrator Chiho Aoshima; model designer Bome; photographer Katsushige Nakahashi; multimedia artists Aya Takano and Mr.; the graphic design firm Groovisions; experimental clothing by a group known as 20471120; and paintings and sculptures by Yoshitomo Nara, among others. The exhibition also featured new projects from the 1980’s and 1990’s. “Superflat”, as an event, began small. First exhibited at the Parco Gallery, Tokyo and Nagoya, the show grew larger as Murakami reconstituted it for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and selected North American stops, including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.

Elizabeth Brown, Chief Curator
This exhibition has been made possible in part by the Pacific Design Center and the Peter Norton Family Foundation with in-kind support from Canon, Inc. The Henry Gallery Association, Inc. gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following sponsors: the Allen Foundation for the Arts, Nintendo of America Inc., the Blakemore Foundation, Rebecca and Alexander Stewart and the Henry Art Gallery’s Contemporary Art Fund, with special thanks to Speakeasy Network, Seattle Weekly, KEXP 90.3 FM and Northwest Mannequin.
Organized by Takashi Murakami for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Featured artists: Takashi Murakami, Yoshinori Kanada, Koji Morimoto, Chiho Aoshima, Bome, Aya Takano, Groovisions, 2047112, Yoshitomo Nara
Image 1: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 2: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 3: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 4: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 5: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 6: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.
Image 7: Superflat. (installation view). 2001. Henry Art Gallery.