The Life of Animals in Japanese Art at National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, through August 18, 2019
“Artworks representing animals—real or imaginary, religious or secular—span the full breadth and splendor of Japanese artistic production. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, presents The Life of Animals in Japanese Art, the first exhibition devoted to the subject, covering 17 centuries (from the fifth century to the present day) and a wide variety of media—sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramics, metalwork, textile, and the woodblock print. The exhibition features more than 300 works, drawn from 66 Japanese and 30 American public and private collections. The artists represented range from Sesson Shūkei, Itō Jakuchū, Soga Shōhaku, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi to Okamoto Tarō, Kusama Yayoi, Issey Miyake, Nara Yoshitomo, and Murakami Takashi.
Many of the nearly 180 works traveling from Japan are masterpieces that rarely—if ever—leave the country, including seven designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. Three of the registered artworks are from the Tokyo National Museum: the six-foot-tall Monju Bosatsu Seated on a Lion, with Standing Attendants (1273) by the Buddhist sculptor Kōen; the intricately carved wood sculpture Aged Monkey (1893) by Takamura Kōun; and the Footed Bowl with Applied Crabs (19th century) by Miyagawa Kōzan I. Two Buddhist hanging scrolls are on loan from the Nara National Museum: Sword with Kurikara Dragon and Two Child Acolytes (13th century) and Fugen Enmei (13th century). Finally, the wood sculpture Fugen’s Elephant (13th century) is on loan from a private collection, and a spectacular bronze, Deer Bearing Symbols of the Kasuga Deities (14th century), is on loan from the Hosomi Museum, Kyoto.” — National Gallery of Art
Unknown Artist. Helmet Shaped like a Shachihoko, Edo period, 17th – 18th century. iron, gold, brass, leather, wood, paper, lacquer overall: 47.4 × 22.6 × 20.7 cm (18 11/16 × 8 7/8 × 8 1/8 in.). Kozu Kobunka Museum, Kyoto
Unknown Artist. Helmet Shaped like a Turbo Shell and Half Mask, Edo period, 17th century. iron, gold, silver, wood, lacquer, paper, silk, hemp, horse hair length (shikoro): 5 13/16 in. (14.7 cm) height (helmet): 19.3 cm (7 5/8 in.) overall (helmet): 33 × 35 × 35 cm (13 × 13 3/4 × 13 3/4 in.) overall (half-mask): 14 × 26 × 22 cm (5 1/2 × 10 1/4 × 8 11/16 in.). Tokyo National Museum
Various Artists. Suit of Armor Shaped like a Tengu, Edo period, 1854 iron; lacquer; vegetable fiber; bear fur; leather; feathers; fabric overall: 177.8 × 71.1 × 45.7 cm (70 × 28 × 18 in.). The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas
Unknown Artist. Horses and Grooms in the Stable, Muromachi period, early 1500s. pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on paper; lacquered-wood frame image: 145.9 × 349.6 cm (57 7/16 × 137 5/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Edward L. Whittemore Fund
Tabaimo. Chirping, Heisei period, 2016. two channel video installation on handmade Japanese scrolls; edition of 5 +1 AP; running time: 7 min. 36 sec. overall (scroll, each): 187.96 × 45.72 cm (74 × 18 in.) image (each): 97.16 × 33.02 cm (38 1/4 × 13 in.). Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York
Takamura Kōun. Aged Monkey, Meiji period, 1893. wood overall: 113 × 93 × 76.5 cm (44 1/2 × 36 5/8 × 30 1/8 in.). Tokyo National Museum
Nagasawa Rosetsu. Ox, Edo period, 18th century. hanging scroll; ink and color on paper; painted mount mount: 132 × 73.8 cm (51 15/16 × 29 1/16 in.) width (including roller ends): 80.5 cm (31 11/16 in.). Tessaido Co.
Miyagawa Kōzan I. Footed Bowl with Applied Crabs, Meiji period, 1881. stoneware with brown glaze height: 37 cm (14 9/16 in.) diameter (mouth): 39.7 cm (15 5/8 in.) diameter (foot): 17.1 cm (6 3/4 in.). Tokyo National Museum
Fukase Masahisa. Erimo Cape, from the series Ravens, Shōwa period, 1976. gelatin silver print image: 30.3 × 44.1 cm (11 15/16 × 17 3/8 in.) sheet: 36.4 × 50 cm (14 5/16 × 19 11/16 in.). Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with funds contributed by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, 1990
The exhibition is curated by Robert T. Singer, curator and department head, Japanese art, LACMA, and Masatomo Kawai, director, Chiba City Museum of Art, in consultation with a team of esteemed of Japanese art historians.
Co-organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Japan Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), with special cooperation from the Tokyo National Museum. LACMA is presenting an abbreviated version of the exhibition, titled Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art from September 22 through December 8, 2019.