This year, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Tsuguharu Foujita’s passing, with several major retrospectives being held in honor of the renowned Japanese painter and printmaker who would come to be known as Léonard Foujita. In way of celebrating the artist, the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum is holding “Léonard Foujita with His Private Works,” an exhibition centered on his illustrations, which rank among the most noteworthy from his body of work.
TFAM has collected 50 highly prized illustrations by Foujita, a virtually complete collection of such pieces that were published as cover art for French books and magazines over the some 18 years he would ultimately reside in France. These works, which Foujita created with a special sense of passion and dedication, comprise an entire section of the exhibition.
Born in Tokyo in 1886, the artist studied western painting at what is now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1913, he left Japan for Paris and when he submitted six works to the Salon d’Automne in 1919, all six were chosen for display at the annual art exhibition. He would become one of the foremost painters of École de Paris, recognized across Europe in the early-1920s for his women nudes and their distinctive opalescent skin that became a Foujita hallmark.
Having secured his place as a distinguished painter in France, Foujita strove to broaden the vistas of his talents by producing illustrations for publications, a job he tackled with genuine joy and zest. The rare, limited-edition works he created from the latter half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th would eventually become highly sought after by collectors, coinciding with the emerging popularity of and demand for the genre in Europe. Upon producing his first illustration, Quelques poèmes, in 1919 Foujita turned out more than 30 of such published artworks in the 1920s—attesting not only to the artist’s fame but also to the depths of his fascination with the genre as well.
“Léonard Foujita with His Private Works” provides viewers with a wondrous panoply of his art, ranging from the illustrated books he produced in France before the war to the works he published in Japan from the 1930s to the 1940s, as well as the deluxe-edition illustrations he completed upon his return to France in the 1950s. While pivoting around what he referred to as his “book work,” the exhibition also features exquisite examples of his paintings and prints that he called his “art work,” including illustrated postcards and letters, handmade toys, ceramics and other creations he shared with friends.
College and High school students 800yen
Elementary and junior high school students 400yen
※On Saturdays, admission is free for elementary and junior high school students
※Prices in parentheses are reduced rates available to groups of 20 or more people, senior citizens aged 65 or older, and TFAM
※e-mail newsletter registrants, Admission is half
※price for challenged individuals and one attendant
※Admission is free on your birthday with valid ID
For more details, visit the official site.
Mondays (except on holidays, then closed on Tuesday)
Opening hours10:00〜17:00 ※Last entry 30 minutes before closing
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