Galerie Larry Gagosian in Le Bourget hosts a monographic exhibition by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami : Understanding the New Cognitive Domain, featuring five monumental works, smaller paintings and several sculptures. This is Murakami's first solo show with the gallery in France.
The exhibition features a new monumental painting by Murakami, inspired by the "iwai-maku" stage curtain he created for the Kabuki-za theater in Tokyo's Ginza district. This painting measures 23 meters long by 5 meters high and was created to celebrate the accession of a Japanese Kabuki actor and producer named Ichikawa Danjuro XIII, Hakuen.
Another large-format painting, entitled Dragon in Clouds - Indigo Blue and created in 2010, is also on show. This work is a response to the eccentric 18th-century Japanese artist Soga Shohaku's Dragon and Clouds. Murakami uses a restricted color palette and graphic swirls to evoke the dragon's flight.
The exhibition also includes a timeline in which Murakami uses a pixelated aesthetic reminiscent of 1980s computer graphics. This work is inspired by Mike Kelley's Pay for Your Pleasure, and replaces Kelley's subjects with important figures from the economy of recent millennia, as well as video game characters.
Other paintings representing Murakami's "lucky cats" are also on display, in reference to his recent NFT projects. Murakami's iconic smiling flower, made with rainbow neon, is also featured in the exhibition, highlighting themes of identity, representation and technology.
Finally, two mirrored figures representing futuristic avatars reflect Murakami's NFT projects and highlight his fascination with the metaverse and hybrid nature of the contemporary world.
For the opening of the exhibition, Murakami has designed a special NFT which will be offered free of charge to visitors. NFTs will be created on demand and limited to one per person.
Takashi Murakami is a Tokyo-born artist whose works are included in many prestigious collections around the world. Notable exhibitions include Murakami Versailles at the Château de Versailles in 2010 and Murakami: The 500 Arhats at Tokyo's Mori Art Museum in 2015.
Opening: Saturday, June 10, 3 pm to 6 pm.