Renowned Superflat artist tops Vancouver Art Gallery’s spring lineup

Tan Tan Bo Puking – a.k.a. Gero Tan, 2002, Takashi Murakami. Acrylic on canvas mounted on board. Private Collection, Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin. © 2002 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Adam Reich

The Vancouver Art Gallery is kicking off its spring exhibition season with an exhibit of work by one of Japan’s most renowned, and colourful, expressionists.

From Feb. 3-May 6, the VAG will present Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, a career retrospective of work by international Superflat art icon Takashi Murakami. The exhibit marks the artist’s first-ever retrospective in Canada.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg traces Murakami’s development as an artist over the last three decades. It includes selections of his earliest work as well as new, never-before-seen paintings and sculptures.

The 55 works draw attention to some of the major concepts and unique cultural conditions that have shaped his painting practice. The work also offers a meditation on the current state of Japanese society.

The exhibition will also feature a newly created five-metre-tall sculpture as well as two multi-panel paintings created especially for the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition. The gallery calls Murakami “one of the world’s most acclaimed and sought-after contemporary artists.”

Takashi Murakami. Photo: Maria Ponce Berre, © MCA Chicago.

Other spring exhibits include BOMBHEAD. Curating pieces from the gallery’s collection, the show explores the nuclear age. The show runs March 3-June 17.

Additionally, two distinct, engaging exhibitions from the collection of the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, Ontario, will be on view. Living, Building, Thinking: art and expressionism (March 3-May 21) explores the development of expressionism from the early 19th century to present day through pieces from the McMaster German Expressionist collection.

In A Cultivating Journey: The Herman Levy Legacy (March 3-May 21), five centuries of art from the museum’s Levy Collection and Bequest is on display. (Levy donated his personal collection of 185 European historical and modern works to the Museum in 1984, and followed this with a substantial financial bequest specifically for art purchases—219 acquisitions were made.) The work includes pieces by Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

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