Modern art meets old architecture

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Rivane Neuenschwander: Type C Print, “A Place Not Far from Here” (2000)
Rivane Neuenschwander: Type C Print, “A Place Not Far from Here” (2000)

Modern art meets old architecture

by: Story and photo by Norio Muroi | .
Stripes Japan | .
published: July 20, 2016
Ironically paired with a 100-year-old brick building, the Tokyo Station Gallery is currently presenting a modern art exhibit through September.
 
The exhibit, titled “12 Rooms 12 Artists,” does just that, devoting a single artist’s work to each room. This “washoku-styled” display, located at the Tokyo Station north exit, has no theme, much like “kaiseki ryori,” a traditional Japanese multi-course meal.
 
After collaborating for a year and a half, the Tokyo Station Gallery and UBS group chose the best 80 from over 30,000 works in the UBS Art Collection. The artists hail from all over the world, including the US, Japan, Britain, Italy, Brazil and Taiwan.
 
One of the highlights is Lucian Freud, the grandson of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. Lucian is one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. His 1995 painting of a naked woman sleeping, nicknamed Large Sue, was sold in 2008 for a record for work by a living artist at $33.6 million. Due to the value of his art, it’s rare to see his many works at an exhibit. Lucian’s Large Sue etchings are among the 28 works on display.
 
Two pop artists from the US, Susan Rothenberg and Ed Ruscha, are also on display. Ruscha is one of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century, while Rothenberg is known for her drawings on a horse. Among Ruscha’s display is a work titled Spam Study – as in the canned meat. 
 
Japanese artist Nobuyuki Araki is a contemporary photographer known both for his prolific output and erotic imagery. The influential and progressive artist’s works titled, The Days We Were Happy, are a set of seven photo prints, ripped once by hands and re-taped on purpose. 
 
There are many different ways to enjoy contemporary art, but if I had one tip: Be informed about the artists – their motives and where they come from. But also, take out all stereotypes, relax, and feel something while listening to your instincts.
 
Exhibition: Through Sept. 4. 
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays 
10 a.m.-8 p.m. 
Closed on Tuesdays
Telephone: 03-3212-2485
Admission: Adults - 1,000 yen. High School & College Students - 800 yen. Children - Free
Location: JR Tokyo Station North Exit
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