Posted:Jan 21, 2023

Best Exhibitions To Look Forward to in 2023

Twenty-two best art exhibitions in the Kanto area and beyond to look forward to in 2023.

Egon Schiele from the Collection of the Leopold Museum – Young Genius in Vienna 1900 (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)

Egon Schiele was one of the outstanding painters of late 19th-century Vienna, a time of significant historical and cultural change. He passed away at the early age of 28 but produced numerous works and forged his distinctive style. This is the first major retrospective of Schiele’s work in Japan in 30 years and is held with the full cooperation of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Approximately 50 oil paintings, drawings, and other works by Schiele will be on display, along with works by Klimt, Kokoschka, Gerstl, and other artists of the same era.

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Schedule: January 26 - April 9
Exhibition Details

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum “Egon Schiele from the Collection of the Leopold Museum – Young Genius in Vienna 1900” poster

Tadaoto Kainosho: Crossing Boundaries in Nihonga, Theater and Film (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto)

Nihonga painter Tadaoto Kainosho was active in Kyoto during the Taisho and early Showa Period. Although an exhibition devoted to his paintings held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, in 1997 prompted a reevaluation of Kainosho’s career, it did not sufficiently address his work in the film field. This exhibition strives to present a complete picture of the artist’s career, including his work for theater and cinema. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to Tokyo Station Gallery in July.

Venue: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Schedule: February 11 - April 9
Exhibition Details

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto “Tadaoto Kainosho: Crossing Boundaries in Nihonga, Theater and Film” poster

Caring: Motherhood (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito)

Care is an essential element of our society. Featuring a diverse range of works, from expressions born out of second-wave feminism to the reading of private childcare diaries, this exhibition will seek the possibilities of empowerment through works of contemporary artists and the placemaking that strengthens the connection between the public and care. Participating artists are Ryoko Aoki, AHA![Archive for Human Activities], Miyako Ishiuchi, Mako Idemitsu, Yui Usui, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kento Nito, Maria Farrar, Young-In Hong, Mei Homma, Martha Rosler, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Yun Suknam.

Venue: Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Schedule: February 18 - May 7
Exhibition Details

Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito “Caring: Motherhood” poster

Shigeo Toya Exhibition (Museum of Modern Art, Saitama)

Shigeo Toya is one of Japan’s leading contemporary sculptors. His solo exhibition will travel from Nagano Prefectural Art Museum (on view until January 29) to the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, in February. Toya has been confronting sculpture dismantled as an institution in postwar art in Japan and abroad and has attempted to reconstruct it from its essence. The exhibition features approximately 30 works displayed without being bound to a particular year of production but according to a concept.

Venue: Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
Schedule: February 25 - May 14
Exhibition Details

Shigeo Toya Forest IX Photo by Tadasu Yamamoto

Hayami Gyoshu: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki)

Gyoshu Hayami was one of the leading Japanese painters active from the late Meiji period to the early Showa period. His painting style changed throughout his 30-year career, from exact, realistic depictions in the Taisho period to a return to classical painting, to works with simplification and flatness. This exhibition will explore Hayami’s path as a painter through approximately 100 paintings and drawings on display.

Venue: Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki
Schedule: February 21 - March 26
Exhibition Details

Goshu Hayami Pomegranates on Nabeshima Plate 1921

Painting Love in the Louvre Collections (The National Art Center, Tokyo)

Masterpieces from the Louvre Museum are coming to the National Art Center, Tokyo. The exhibition features 74 carefully selected paintings from the Louvre Museum’s vast collections, including pieces by Jean Honoré Fragonard and François Gérard. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore passionate expressions of love from the 16th century to the mid-19th century by Europe’s most preeminent painters. The exhibition will travel to the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art in June.

Venue: The National Art Center, Tokyo
Schedule: March 1 - June 12
Exhibition Details

Domenichino Rinaldo and Armida c. 1617-1621 Oil, canvas 121×168cm Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) Martine Beck-Coppola Distributed by AMF-DNPartcom *All rights reserved

Masahisa Fukase 1961-1991 Retrospective (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum)

Masahisa Fukase is a contemporary of Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama and is known for pioneering new expressions from the 1960s to the 70s - the golden age of Japanese photography. This retrospective exhibition explores Fukase’s personality and unique expression, focusing on works from the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum’s collection, including his representative photo book, “Ravens” (1986).

Venue: Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Schedule: March 3 - June 4
Exhibition Details

Masahisa Fukase Erimo Cape from the series Ravens 1976 Collection of Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Tōfuku-ji: Monumental Zen Temple of Kyoto (Tokyo National Museum)

Tofuku-ji Temple is one of the most famous Zen temples in Kyoto. This exhibition marks the first time the temple’s treasures will be presented together in one place. The monumental “Five Hundred Rakan,” by the legendary painted Buddhist priest Myojo, will be exhibited for the first time since its restoration, along with Buddhist statues, paintings, and calligraphies. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to the Kyoto National Museum in October.

Venue: Tokyo National Museum
Schedule: March 7 - May 7
Exhibition Details

Tokyo National Museum “Tōfuku-ji: Monumental Zen Temple of Kyoto” poster

The Making of Munakata Shiko: Celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the Artist’s Birth (Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design)

Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design celebrates its fifth anniversary with a solo exhibition of internationally acclaimed printmaker Shiko Munakata. Commemorating the 120th anniversary of Munakata’s birth and held in cooperation with museums that served as his creative bases (Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, Aomori Museum of Art, and The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo), this exhibition will focus on the relationship between artist and each region, crossing various fields such as board painting, Japanese-style painting, oil painting, as well as bookbinding, illustrations, wrapping paper design, film, television, and radio appearances.

Venue: Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design
Schedule: March 18 - May 21
Exhibition Details

Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design “The Making of Munakata Shiko: Celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth” poster

Secrets of Important Cultural Properties: An Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, which opened in December 1952. To commemorate this occasion, the museum will hold a special exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and crafts going as far as the Meiji period, featuring only those works designated as Important Cultural Properties. The exhibition also explores the history of masterpieces as “problematic works” that established new expressions. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see Cultural Properties in one place and rediscover modern Japanese art.

Venue: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Schedule: March 17 - May 14
Exhibition Details

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo “Secrets of Important Cultural Properties: An Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo” poster

La Bretagne, Source d’inspiration: Regards de Peintres Français et Japonais (National Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo)

Brittany, a beautiful region located in the northwest corner of France, was loved and visited by painters from many countries from the late 19th to the 20th century. This exhibition features approximately 160 works from the Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art and approximately 30 museums and private collections in Japan. The exhibition aims to explore artists’ admiration for the region and, simultaneously, focus on Japanese painters who visited Brittany.

Venue: National Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo
Schedule: March 18 - June 11
Exhibition Details

National Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo “La Bretagne, Source d’inspiration: Regards de Peintres Français et Japonais” poster

Before/After (Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art)

To commemorate its reopening on March 18, 2023, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art will hold a special exhibition, “Before/After.” Using the changes caused by the renovation work of the museum as a stepping stone, the exhibition focuses on various “before” and “after.” The participating artists are Miyako Ishiuchi, who is working on a photo project capturing the clothing of atomic bomb survivors, Sen Takahashi, Kei Takemura, Koki Tanaka, Bontaro Dokuyama, Naoya Hirata, Nami Yokoyama, Reijiro Wada, and many others.

Venue: Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
Schedule: March 18 - June 18
Exhibition Details

Shirin Neshat Land of Dreams 2019 Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery © Shirin Neshat

Pokémon × Kogei Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft (National Crafts Museum)

National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa presents a special exhibition bringing together two unusual elements - Pokémon and traditional crafts. At first glance, the combination of the two may seem unexpected, but they have more than a few things in common. For example, the raw materials used in crafts and the energy used in manufacturing include earth, grass, metal, water, fire, and electricity, which could be described as Pokémon types. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see this unique and somewhat nostalgic collaboration with leading Japanese craft artists and internationally popular series.

Venue: National Crafts Museum
Schedule: March 21 - June 11
Exhibition Details

Taiichiro Yoshida Thunders 2022 © 2022 Pokémon © 1995-2022 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK Inc. © 2022 Taiichiro Yoshida Photo by Taku Saiki

World Classroom: Contemporary Art Through School Subjects (Mori Art Museum)

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Mori Art Museum, this exhibition introduces the activities of contemporary artists who explore the “unknowns” of the world and attempt to transcend stereotypes creatively. It aims to encounter the unknown world from various perspectives, using the subjects we learn at school as a gateway to contemporary art. Exhibiting artists are Ai Weiwei, Satoru Aoyama, Joseph Beuys, Hikaru Fujii, Naoya Hatakeyama, Susan Hiller, Yoshitomo Nara, Lee Ufan, Haegue Yang, and many others.

Venue: Mori Art Museum
Schedule: April 19 - September 24
Exhibition Details

Wang Qingsong Follow Me 2003 C-print 60 x 150 cm Collection: Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

Henri Matisse: The Path to Color (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)

Henri Matisse is one of the greatest masters of the 20th century. Held with the full cooperation of the Centre Pompidou, home to one of the world’s largest Matisse collections, this is the first large-scale retrospective of artists’ work in Japan in approximately 20 years. In addition to paintings, the exhibition will feature sculptures, drawings, prints, cut-outs, and materials related to his final masterpiece, the Chapel of the Rosary of Vence. With the upcoming “Henri Matisse – Forms in Freedom” at the National Art Center, Tokyo, artists’ works will be on view two years in a row.

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Schedule: April 27 - August 20
Exhibition Details

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum “Henri Matisse: The Path to Color” poster

Abstraction: The Genesis and Evolution of Abstract Painting Cézanne, Fauvism, Cubism and on to Today (Artizon Museum)

From the late nineteenth century to the outbreak of World War I, France enjoyed its Belle Époque, a time of peace and prosperity. This influenced the development of new painting styles such as Fauvism, Cubism, and other new art forms. This exhibition focuses on the trend of abstract expression in France before and after the war. In addition, It explores abstract art’s simultaneous emergence in Japan, such as Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop), Gutai, and other movements.

Venue: Artizon Museum
Schedule: June 3 - August 20
Exhibition Details

František Kupka Study on Red Ground c. 1919 Artizon Museum (New acquisition)

Mingei Exhibition (Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka)

This exhibition explores “mingei,” or folk art, through the themes of “clothing, food, and shelter.” With an emphasis on production areas and the craftsman, the exhibition will feature approximately 130 mingei items. Another exhibition highlight is an installation by Terry Ellis and Keiko Kitamura (director of MOGI Folk Art), who have played a significant role in the current folk art boom. This exhibition is an excellent opportunity to explore the evolution of “mingei” and its present and future.

Venue: Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka
Schedule: July 8 - September 18
Exhibition Details

Haori kimono coat 19th century

Light: Works from the Tate Collection (The National Art Center, Tokyo)

Carefully selected from the collection of Tate Modern in the UK, this exhibition features works related to “light” from the end of the 18th century to the present day. On display are approximately 120 works, including pieces by “painter of light” Joseph Mallord William Turner, landscape painter John Constable, Claude Monet, experimental works by László Moholy-Nagy, and Bauhaus photographers, and visual experiences by contemporary artists such as Bridget Riley, James Turrell, and Olafur Eliasson.

Venue: The National Art Center, Tokyo
Schedule: July 12 - October 2
Exhibition Details

Joseph Mallord William Turner Light and Colour (Goethe’s Theory) - the Morning after the Deluge - Moses Writing the Book of Genesis Exhibited 1843 Oil paint on canvas, 78.7 x 78.7 cm Tate Photo by Tate

David Hockney Exhibition (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo presents the largest-ever solo exhibition in Asia devoted to the British artist David Hockney, one of the most innovative artists of the postwar era. This retrospective exhibition will feature approximately 100 selected works, including early works produced in California in the 1960s, a series of recent large paintings of his native Yorkshire landscape, and a 90 meters-long new work he drew in Normandy during the lockdown.

Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Schedule: July 15 - November 5
Exhibition Details

David Hockney Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy 1970-71 Acrylic on canvas, 213.4 x 304.8cm Tate: Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1971 © David Hockney Photo by Richard Schmidt

Exhibition of Yves Saint Laurent (The National Art Center, Tokyo)

Following the sudden death of Christian Dior in 1958, Yves Saint Laurent made his brilliant debut as a designer at the House of Dior. In 1962, he launched his brand and continued to lead the world fashion scene until his retirement in 2002. Organized with the full cooperation of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, this exhibition marks the first retrospective of the designer’s works ever to be held in Japan. The exhibition features a comprehensive overview of Yves Saint Laurent’s work, from his debut at Dior and the first collection that appeared under his brand to the establishment of his style, through 110 of the designer’s looks and accessories, drawings, and photographs.

Venue: The National Art Center, Tokyo
Schedule: September 20 - December 11
Exhibition Details

Short cocktail dress - Homage to Piet Mondrian Fall-Winter 1965 Haute Couture Collection © Yves Saint Laurent © Musée Yves Saint Laurent / Alexandre Guirkinger

Miran Fukuda Exhibition

Nagoya City Art Museum presents an exhibition of Miran Fukuda, who gained recognition through exhibitions such as the “Miran Fukuda Exhibition” at the Chiba City Museum of Art and “Manet within Japan - Encounters, 120 Years of Images” at the Nerima Art Museum. In addition to representative works, the exhibition features the newest works under the theme of the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, and pieces inspired by the museum’s collection.

Venue: Nagoya City Art Museum
Schedule: September 23 - November 19

Nerima Art Museum “Manet within Japan - Encounters, 120 Years of Images” exhibition view Miran Fukuda Zelensky 2022

Our Ecology (Mori Art Museum)

Under the theme of “Ecology,” this exhibition reexamines the anthropocentrism that has led to environmental crises and explores the possibilities for a new ecological system. In addition to introducing foreign artists such as Agnes Denes, the exhibition reexamines art produced and presented in Japan from the 1950s to 1970s, when pollution formed a dark downside to the country’s rapid economic growth, to reconsider today’s environmental problems from a Japanese standpoint. Furthermore, the Mori Art Museum will take on a challenge to make this an ecological show in terms of production and theme, such as reducing transportation to a minimum and reusing and recycling resources.

Venue: Mori Art Museum
Schedule: October 18 - March 31
Exhibition Details

Agnes Denes Wheatfield - A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan - With Agnes Denes Standing in the Field 1982 Courtesy of Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York Photo by John McGrail

Yugo Asami

Yugo Asami

Born in Chiba in 1999. Intern at the Editorial Department of Tokyo Art Beat from 2021 to 2023. Graduate student at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Asa Ito Lab). Currently based in Paris.