MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt/Main is presenting the most comprehensive retrospective to date of the works of Takashi Murakami. In May 2008, Time Magazine cited Murakami as being one of the 100 most influential people in the world. As with the case of the major Sturtevant exhibition in 2004, the entire museum will be devoted to showcasing Murakami’s oeuvre. For the duration of the exhibition, only works by this artist will be on show/view, with the MMK transforming itself, as the title suggests, into a © Murakami museum.
Takashi Murakami’s artistic practice is predicated on seeing art as a part of the economy and the artist is significant for carving out a new entrepreneurial model that is based on a thoughtful transformation of applied market strategies. This model can be attributed to the global shift from consumer-based society to service-oriented economy, which differentiates Murakami from Andy Warhol as well his contemporaries, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. His company, Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. with its multi-faceted operations in mass-produced merchandising, animated film production, and collaborative corporate design commissions, not to mention his extremely successful collaboration with Louis Vuitton, make it clear just how art can develop under changing market conditions and creatively widen its distributive capacities.
© MURAKAMI was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, whose chief curator Paul Schimmel curated and supervised the exhibition. After Los Angeles, the exhibition went on to the Brooklyn Museum, New York. MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main will now be the first platform for the © MURAKAMI exhibition in Europe. Here, the show has been organized by Udo Kittelmann and Mario Kramer in close collaboration with the artist. The last stop on the tour will be the Guggenheim Bilbao.
With its outstanding collection of US Pop Art from the former Karl Ströher collection, including Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein, and with Japanese artists such as On Kawara und Nobuyoshi Araki representing another focal point of the collection, the MMK seems especially predestined for this particular show.
Born in Japan in 1962, Murakami typifies a generation of artists whose pictorial idiom combines motifs from Pop culture with the stylistic characteristics of traditional Japanese art, examples being two-dimensionality, patterns and ornamentation. © MURAKAMI presents a selection of the artist's major works spanning the entire length of his career. Beginning with his appropriation works from the early 1990s which launched Japan’s Neo-Pop generation, a significant portion of the exhibition is dedicated to tracing the ongoing evolution of Murakami’s alter-ego, DOB, and the figure projects of the late 1990s inspired by the Japanese otaku, an anime and manga-obsessed, geek subculture. A particularly important feature will be the monumental sculptural installation, Mr. Pointy and the Four Guards, an anime-infused Japanese Buddhist ensemble that combines pre-Columbian and Tibetan Buddhist stylistic imagery, that represents the artist’s speculative interest in the accessibility of new religions in global spiritual life.
© Murakami was made possible with the financial assistance of Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment. The exhibition and the catalogue were rendered possible by the generous assistance of Maria and Bill Bell. Blum & Poe, Los Angeles also provided major support. Further generous support was offered by Steven and Alexandra Cohen; Kathi and Gary Cypres; Gagosian Gallery; Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris and Miami; The Norton Family Foundation; Dallas Price-Van Breda; Janet and Tom Unterman; Ruth and Jacob Bloom; Marianne Boesky; David Teiger; The MOCA Contemporaries; The Japan Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
The exhibition in Frankfurt / Main received the generous support of
Verein der Freunde des MMK e.V.The Japan Foundation
MMK Partners 2008: DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, DELTON AG, Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, KfW Bankengruppe