Gunma, Japan

“IZUMI KATO: LIKE A ROLLING SNOWBALL”

Hara Museum ARC
Gunma, Japan
July 13–January 13

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
4-7-25 Kitashinagawa Shinagawa-ku
August 10, 2019–January 13, 2020

Curated by Kazuko Aono and Mariko Ogata

Together with his contemporaries Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, Izumi Kato made a splash in America as part of the cheerfully ironic, doom-with-a-hug Japan Society exhibition “Little Boy” in 2005. Despite some of their formal attributes—mainly the unsettlingly childlike personages—Kato’s precise, haunting oil paintings and unnerving wood figurines are not the pop-culture appropriations they can seem to be, but instead sprout from the common ground of folkloric totems and modernist figuration. With a particular focus on his large-scale sculptures, a retrospective of approximately one hundred works ranging from some of Kato’s earliest to his most recent will be on view at the Hara Museum’s annex in Gunma prefecture. For his first institutional solo show in Tokyo, roughly thirty of the artist’s newest paintings and sculptures will take up residence in the museum’s main branch.