The Era of Post-Impressionism: The Bridge to Avant-garde
It is said that Impressionism artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir broadened the degree of freedom of art expressions in the art leading to the 20th century. They sought to express natural light, the sense of air, the flow of wind, and more. Also, Japonism, the study of Japanese art, had an influence on European art during this era.
On exhibit at the Ikeda Museum is “After the Flood,” a work by Pierre Bonnard whose life spanned both the Impressionism and Modernism periods. This masterpiece is one of the four panels which were painted for a wealthy man in Paris for his dining hall. It measures up to 8.2 ft in height and 14.7 ft in width and portrays the peace and happiness of humans and animals in a pastoral paradise.
- “Semi Nude Young Woman”Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- “After the Flood” Pierre Bonnard
École de Paris: where art blossomed throughout the world.
“École de Paris,” known as “School of Paris” in English, refers to French and foreign artists who came to Paris between 1900 and 1940. It is said that this name comes from the 1928 “École de Paris Exhibition” held in Paris. The artists of “École de Paris” were known for their free painting style. Living in poverty, most artists lived together and created the culture of Paris at that time. At the Ikeda Museum, you can enjoy the artwork of the artists of this era such as Marc Chagall, Moïse Kisling, and Yasushi Tanaka and more.
Kisling most valued “what to paint” rather than art skills. His style used in portraits of females led to the fine-art photography seen today. At first glance they seemingly appear common compositions; however, the amazing colors create a harmony bringing out the personality and emotions of the subject and surely will convey to the viewer the uncommonness that hides within modern art.
EPISODEKisling: an artist rich in sociability and humanity
One of the artists that represent “École de Paris.” Born in Kraków, Poland, Kisling moved to Paris in 1910 and spent time with artists such as Pablo Picasso and artists in Montparnasse. He was a sociable person and had many friends and was present when his best friend, Amedeo Clemente Modigliani passed away in 1920. During World War I, he fought on the front line as a volunteer soldier and was awarded French citizenship as a result of his military exploits. During World War II, he emigrated to the United States and returned to Paris in 1946. His artwork, using bright, vivid colors, depicts female subject having a feeling of melancholy with an air of sensuality.
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” This is one of Matisse’s quotations. He remarked that human inner feelings and senses are most important and that this formed the core of his painting style.
EPISODEFauvism: the world of "the wild beasts”
This art form using vivid and bold colors, distorted shapes, and intense expressions, was named by art critics as “Fauvism” since it evoked the feeling of a wild beast. Indeed, Matisse is one of the artists that represent this art style, but in his later years, he began to paint clam and peaceful works saying that he wanted to be able to paint an armchair that can make people relax. Matisse, known for his calm behavior, being passionate, and intelligent, was also a writer and has left behind many well-known sayings.
- Moïse Kisling Female Clown
- Henri Matisse Mimosa
Marc Chagall, an artist who continued to portray people’s “love” in his paintings even during turbulent times. He painted landscapes and feelings of the era from his own perspective and observation. Symbols of love and hope are portrayed in his art, and one can feel peace and comfort from the dream-like atmosphere in his art.
EPISODEArt theme: Eternal Love
Chagall was not only known for his fantasy world-like paintings but also known for having a sharp tongue. During his childhood, he faced many hardships such as discrimination as a Jew in Russia, the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, his asylum to the United States, and subsequent emigration to France. However, despite having to live through such adversities, he was always able to portray love and hope in his work thanks to the support of his dear wife, Bella.
Salvador Dalí, one of the representative Surrealist painters, sought to express the unconscious world of man and to reveal its existence. Realizing that he had prophetic powers, he created paintings that foresaw the Spanish Civil War. He painted Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) and Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man which presaged the prosperity of the United States after World War II.
EPISODESurrealism and Dalí
“If Surrealism explores the unconscious world, then limiting one’s thoughts is contradictory. I am Surrealism.” Consistent with his words, Dalí would always paint without any restrictions anywhere, anytime. He called himself a genius, saying that his existence is Surrealism itself. He became famous for his trademark handlebar mustache and eyes-wide-open performance.
Celebrated as the revolutionist of the 20th century art history, Picasso created numerous new styles and influenced many artists. He loved doves, peace, and women which became the theme for many of his artworks. As a youth, Picasso was very sensitive, and throughout his life, he created artworks reflecting the emotional changes in his life such as the “Blue Period”, “Rose Period” and into “Cubism.” From middle age to the end of life, Picasso produced work in Neoclassicism and Surrealism style.
EPISODEPicasso and the world of Cubism
Supposedly the suggestion of Cubism was prompted by Paul Cézanne's remark that “All nature is geometrically structured.” In his mid-twenties, Picasso was inspired by masks and carvings used for ceremonies and magic in Africa and by seeing these images in his perspective, Picasso pursued a new art form. Rather than looking and painting the subject from one perspective, he captured the subject from a multi-faceted perspective much like a 360-degree panorama camera. By doing so, he could obtain multiple points of view and in the end, combine these into one. Eventually, Picasso developed his own unique style of Cubism.
Post War Vanguards of Pop Art
The era of pop art movement began in the 60’s led by artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein that fostered popular culture under such themes as mass production in daily life.
At the Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art, you can see Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Roy Lichtenstein’s Peace through Chemistry Ⅰ. You can also enjoy Mother Applying Make-up painted by Anthony Green, a representative pop art artist from the United Kingdom.
The first 20th century art museum in Japan
Japan’s first 20th century art museum was established in May 1975 on Ippekiko-keyaki Street, Izu. The site, building and most of the approximately 1,400 pieces of art were donated by Eiichi Ikeda, the founder of Nichireki Co., Ltd.
Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art
Ippekiko-kayeki Street 614 Totari, Itō-shi, Shizuoka-ken 414-0052
Wednesday(Open of public holidays, July, August, New Year’s Holiday)
General 1,000 yen, Senior high school student 700 yen Elementary / Junior high school student 500 yen