Exhibition information

The 75th Kenji Kitagawa: Devices in Black—The Distance of Memory

June 16, 2018 - September 09, 2018

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Born in 1952, Kenji Kitagawa embarked on his artistic career in the 1970s as a printmaker, creating mostly photogravure prints imbued with a unique tension and pronounced sense of spirituality. These crisply rendered yet intense pieces, which seemed to rise out of the conflict between the artist’s poeticism and the hard copper surface of the etching plate, were quick to garner praise from Japan’s foremost printmakers such as Tetsuro Komai, Shiko Munakata and Masuo Ikeda, and thus Kitagawa’s name quickly spread throughout the artistic world.
  It wasn’t long, though, before Kitagawa began to distance himself from printmaking and to venture into other expressive realms, using different media forms in order to better hone and sharpen his artistic methodology, which could perhaps be expressed as giving shape to the poetic. From the 1980s on, he turned to three-dimensional objects; from the 1990s, collages; and from the 2000s, photography. At times he even wandered into territory which lay beyond the borders of fine art, such as poetry and criticism.
  The stimulation afforded by these assorted creative journeys eventually inspired Kitagawa to return to printmaking, and from the mid-1990s on he began once more to create prints at a prodigious rate, mostly for inclusion in his print portfolios. This return to his original métier soon yielded works of an even greater depth and intensity, which now much resembled three-dimensional objects produced on a flat surface, and pointed toward new possibilities within the art form. His prints were met with international acclaim, and his work was for selected for inclusion in the Arthur Rimbaud exhibition at the Musée Rimbaud, where he was the only Japanese artist to be exhibited alongside Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, and Jim Dine.
  The uniting factor running through the polyhedrous universe formed by Kitagawa’s creations is the artist's way of construing each of his creations as a “device” sent out into the world to summon up memories and induce imaginative journeys on the part of the viewer. With an awareness of this belief as the basso continuo penetrating everything he set his hand to, Kitagawa has traversed a truly wide span of media.
  Out of Kenji Kitagawa’s body of work, whose numerous facets glimmer invitingly like those of a crystalline polyhedron, we have chosen in this exhibition to focus mostly on the intaglio printing that was his starting point, as well as presenting some of the three-dimensional works which have been his focus over the last few years. We sincerely hope that it will provide viewers with a tantalizing visual experience to stir up images from within and ignite the imagination.


Miyata 1, Shiota, Sukagawa-shi, Fukushima 962-0711, Japan
Phone: +81-(0)248-79-4811


10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:45 p.m.)


Mondays (except July 16) and July 17, Tuesday.


Adults 300 Yen, students 200 Yen.
Free for young children (through elementary school), senior citizens (65 and over) and the handicapped.


DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion and Center for Contemporary Graphic Art