New York

Takashi Murakami

Marianne Boesky Gallery

ON THE WALL FLANKING THE ENTRANCE to Takashi Murakami's “Mushroom” exhibition was posted a long list of names and titles, like credits of a feature film. This team (mostly young artists who work as acolyte-assistants at Murakami's Hiropon Factory studio in the suburbs of Tokyo) spent months bringing the show's fourteen large-scale paintings through production, from sketch to computer animation to painstakingly old-fashioned brushwork. Gleaming and seamless, the final canvases betray no trace of individual hands. Murakami's trademark motifs-garlands of smiley-face flowers, happy mushrooms with eyes and angry ones with fangs, blobby skeletons, and UFO-like creatures with cutesy-mutant grins—appear in bright acrylics on mostly silver grounds. In spite of these aggressively pop images, several pieces bear a marked resemblance to traditional Japanese screens, with their horizontal format

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