BLUM & POE PRESENTS A SOLO EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS BY TAKASHI MURAKAMI IN IBIZA, SPAIN FROM JUNE 24 – SEPTEMBER 26, 2015
Ibiza, Spain, September 22, 2015 — Blum & Poe presents a solo exhibition of works by Takashi Murakami this summer on the island of Ibiza, Spain. The multifaceted exhibition consisting of paintings, sculptures, and film screenings is held in four locations: Art Projects Ibiza, which serves as a temporary platform for Blum & Poe, exhibition space Lune Rouge Ibiza, the Ibiza Gran Hotel, and restaurant and performance space HEART Ibiza. In this groundbreaking presentation, Murakami continues to conflate historical, contemporary, and futuristic Japanese references with myriad styles, methodologies, and forms—a practice that has canonized him as of one of the most celebrated artists of our time.
Blum & Poe’s presentation takes place in an approximately 3,000-square-foot exhibition space created by Art Projects Ibiza, which fosters creative partnerships with artists and galleries worldwide and invites international collaborators to realize large-scale shows. It features a remarkable display of Murakami’s recent works, including abstract Kōrin paintings, flower ball paintings, and sculpture. The abstract Kōrin paintings, named for the Rinpa-school Edo painter Ogata Kōrin, layer a lexicon of symbols, combining the artist’s interest in classical Japanese aesthetics with Abstract Expressionist tropes, manga imagery, and Buddhist symbolism. The flower ball paintings intermingle his signature style of optimistic and bright, smiling flower faces with the artist’s trademark handmade, silkscreened, and gestural techniques. Also on view, Fate (2013), a gold leaf, wall-mounted sculpture, portrays an accumulation of cascading skulls overlapping and melding together, brilliantly distorting surface and depth.
Murakami’s 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree (2013), a ten-meter painting from his Arhat series, is exhibited at Lune Rouge Ibiza, an exhibition space dedicated to the collection of Guy Laliberté, a prominent contemporary art collector and Cirque du Soleil founder. Created in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, the work depicts an ancient tale of Buddhist monks confronting death and decay, where mythical monsters and decrepit figures in traditional robes wander a psychedelic landscape. Flanking the artist’s masterpiece are two large-scale red and blue demon sculptures. Titled Embodiment of “A” and Embodiment of “Um” (2014)—the first and last letters of the Sanskrit alphabet—these two sculptures stand in witness to the cycle of human karma vividly portrayed in the adjacent painting. Murakami’s exhibition inaugurates Lune Rouge Ibiza, the collection of Guy Laliberté, whose philanthropic mission is to contribute to the cultural landscape of Ibiza through a program of engaging exhibitions of established and emerging artists. Laliberté’s continued commitment to the island, an important home of his for over thirty years, aims at inspiring creativity and discovery through shared viewing experiences, awareness, and education.
Positioned at the entrance of Ibiza Gran Hotel, the only Five Star Grand Luxe hotel in Ibiza, Murakami’s colossal sculpture Oval Buddha (2007) is on view through October 2015. Standing more than eighteen feet tall, the work is unequivocally monumental and displays a technical virtuosity in its emblematic self-portraiture and application of aluminum and platinum leaf. Activating this public space through the narrative of enlightenment and transcendence, Oval Buddha has the distinction of being included in his 2007 retrospective ©Murakami, which was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and traveled to three other museums.
On view in the outdoor entryway leading to HEART Ibiza and Casino de Ibiza is Murakami’s new bronze relief sculpture, whose conglomeration of skulls and fantastical crowns introduce a contemporary iconography into an ancient vocabulary. Situated in the lobby is Murakami’s intricate tondo painting, titled Sage (2014), which is stylistically related to the Arhat series. HEART Ibiza, an exciting new state-of-the-art, fine-dining restaurant and stunning performance space located adjacent to Ibiza Gran Hotel, is the brainchild of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté and chefs Albert and Ferran Adrià of El Bulli fame. Exploring the intersections of food, dance, art, and music, the space combines all sensory elements to create an experience unlike any other that is simultaneously visual, experiential, and dynamic.
A limited engagement screening of the artist’s first live-action feature film, Jellyfish Eyes (2013), took place on Ibiza. Ten years in the making, the film utilizes both live-action and computer-generated imagery (CGI) in this coming-of-age tale about a boy in contemporary Japan confronting his country’s past and future after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Jellyfish Eyes, the first in a trilogy of feature films directed and produced by Murakami, debuted in April of 2013 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has been screened at museums and cinemas throughout the world.
About Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, and received his BFA, MFA, and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki Co., a large-scale art production and art management corporation. In 2000, he organized a paradigmatic exhibition of Japanese art titled Superflat, which traced the origins of contemporary Japanese visual pop culture to historical Japanese art. His work has been shown extensively in venues around the world, including the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Qatar Museum Authority; Palace of Versailles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
About Blum & Poe
Timothy Blum and Jeffrey Poe founded Blum & Poe in September 1994 with the intent to show international contemporary art in all media. Blum brought over five years of experience in the Japanese art world, and Poe provided a strong awareness of emerging artists in Los Angeles. Together they have represented an increasingly influential roster of contemporary artists, most since the start of their careers, including Sam Durant, Anya Gallaccio, Mark Grotjahn, Friedrich Kunath, Florian Maier-Aichen, Dave Muller, Takashi Murakami, and Yoshitomo Nara. In 2009 Blum & Poe purchased and renovated their current 22,000 square foot complex on La Cienega Boulevard, where they have held museum-caliber surveys, examining the work of the Japanese Mono-ha artists (2012); the Korean Tansaekhwa monochrome painters (2014); and the European postwar movement Cobra (2015). In 2014, Blum & Poe opened galleries in New York and Tokyo to focus on intimately scaled projects, both cutting edge and historical, in tandem with an expansive program of exhibitions, lectures, performances, book-signings, and concerts at its base in Los Angeles.
Art Projects Ibiza, Calle Carre Cas Dominguets no° 17 BIS:2, 07800 Ibiza, Spain
Lune Rouge Ibiza, Calle Alcalde Bartomeu Roselló, Sala 7, 07800 Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza Gran Hotel, Paseo Juan Carlos I, 17, 07800 Ibiza, Spain
HEART Ibiza, Passeig de Joan Carles I, 17, Ibiza, Islas Baleares, Spain
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IMAGE CREDIT: Takashi Murakami, 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree, 2013. Acrylic, gold and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on board. Ten panels; 118 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches each (300 x 100 centimeters). 118 1/8 x 393 11/16 inches overall (300 x 1000 centimeters). Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe. ©2013 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.