Two by Two - Pairs, Couples and Lovers
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People in pairs have been a popular motif throughout the history of art. Two by Two explores how this motif has been handled in different periods, from Ancient Greece to contemporary Europe and Japan.
The pairs featured in the exhibition might be a man and a woman, or two people of the same sex; they might be a mother and her child, an artist and his model, or even two complete strangers. Two by Two looks at the stylistic possibilities created by combining two distinct forms, and the stories underlying the different relationships.
The pair could be represented as figures embracing or leaning upon one another; they could be reduced to close-ups of parts of the body, or one of them could even be out of frame, an implied presence rather than a visible one. The pair motif is rich not just in stylistic variation, but in human emotion: love between the sexes, motherly love, the joy of a first meeting, the sorrow of parting, and the bitterness of hatred can all be found there.
Two by Two comprises a total of 80 works in oil, watercolor and print media, the majority from the Bridgestone Museum of Art and the Ishibashi Museum of Art, with loans from other Japanese museums.