TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT September 1983

TADANORI YOKOO: BETWEEN PAINTING AND GRAPHIC ART

TADANORI YOKOO HAS OFTEN STUNNED his public by making unexpected and seemingly scandalous declarations. In 1965 he did a poster, Tadanori Yokoo, his first to attract attention, that shows the artist as a man who hanged himself. In one comer is Yokoo’s photograph at age one and a half; an English caption reads, “Having reached a climax at the age of 29, I was dead.” Thus Yokoo’s first popular work was a “death announcement.” What he was in fact pronouncing dead was the rational, abstract design in the Bauhaus style that dominated the Japanese design world of the time. Yokoo, new to the graphics scene, wanted to consign to the grave (together with his own past) the Western Modernism that postwar Japanese design had nurtured parallel to Japan’s rapid economic growth. This was strongly indicated by his blatant use in the poster of the “morning sun” design with its stylized rays, a kitsch and

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