Kenichi Tanaami “Killer Joe’s”


poster for Kenichi Tanaami “Killer Joe’s”

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This solo exhibition of work by creative border crosser of media and genre, Keiichi Tanaami, features the first public showcase of recently discovered work including drawings, collages, paintings, and animations made by Tanaami in the ’60s and early ’70s. This iconic forerunner of the multidisciplinary artist has successfully worked across multiple platforms stretching from graphic design to animation, experimental film, painting, and sculpture, coming to wield considerable influence on young artists across the world.

Playing a significant role in the introduction of pop art and psychedelic culture to Japan in the ’60s, Tanaami gained wide recognition through his album jacket designs for the Japanese releases of legendary rock bands The Monkees’ Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd (1967) and Jefferson Airplane’s After Bathing at Baxter’s (1967), as well as presenting No More War, a series of silkscreened works for the anti-war poster contest held by American magazine Avant Garde in 1968. Quick to open up the possibilities of pop art in its application to design, Tanaami was verifiably experimenting with techniques such as multicolor printing and image sampling, why following the lead of Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas, he also came to concentrate his efforts on experimental film and animation, gaining wide international acclaim in film festivals and exhibitions across Europe and the US, including the recent collection of his work at the Hamburger Bahnof Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin.

The work included in this exhibition centers that that inspired by the contexts of American pop art as driven by Andy Warhol and the impact of Tanaami’s visits to New York with original illustrations, personal collage books, oil paintings of the contemporary celebrity idols and actresses of the time, and erotic animation created for the late night TV program “11pm”. The flag-bearer of the counter culture that blossomed as a reflection of the tumultuous times symbolized by events such as the Vietnam War, the revision to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the Cultural Revolution in China, and the 1973 oil crisis, the ironic, pop modes of expression for which Tanaami’s works are valued have not lost their luster over the past fifty years but rather today seem to have gained radiance.



From 2013-04-27 To 2013-05-25
Closed on Mondays, Sundays and Public Holidays


Kenichi Tanaami



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