“Romantic Connections” in recent Tokyo art exhibitions

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Alex Watson

The fascinating and unexpected connections between Romanticism and Japanese culture are displayed in a number of temporary exhibitions on show in Tokyo.

The recently-finished “Imaginary Architecture from Piranesi to Minoru Nomata,” at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, traced a tradition of artwork depicting architecture that does not exist in real life from Romantic-period London to contemporary Tokyo.

The exhibition featured a number of notable Romantic works, including English painter John Martin’s sublime and terrifying 1823 illustrations of Paradise Lost and the eighteenth-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons, a series of prints imagining vast subterranean vaults with distorted staircases and labyrinthine machines. By placing these pieces alongside more recent works such as the contemporary Japanese artist Minoru Nomata’s images of fantasy architecture, the show highlighted surprising and illuminating points of connection and contrast.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Carceri Plate VII – The Drawbridge (1761)

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Minoru Nomata, blue construction-2 (2011)

Piranesi’s and Nomata’s works display quite different ideas about the status of history in relation to …read more

Source: http://www.romanticconnections2014.org/1/post/2013/06/romantic-connections-in-recent-tokyo-art-exhibitions.html