“Centre Pompidou-Metz”

In conversation with Yuko Hasegawa

Yuko Hasegawa is an international curator par excellence. In her native Japan, she is a co-founder of Inujima Art House Project on Naoshima and an artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT). Her latest project, “Japanorama”, is currently on at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France. In the recent years, Yuko Hasegawa curated the Moscow Biennale (2017) and the XI Sharjah Biennale (2013), co-curated the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale (2010), and judged the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award and the MAXXI Bulgari Prize.   “Japonorama” is an extremely ambitious undertaking: the exhibition spans over 45 years of Japanese contemporary art history, and includes around 350 works by 100 artists.  You are obviously a very experienced curator, but do you still find it difficult to cope with such mammoth projects? First, let me explain why the exhibition starts in 1970.  In 1986, Pompidou staged an important overview “Japon des avant-gardes” that traced the history of avant-garde art in Japan from 1910-1970.  The new show follows on that earlier exhibition, picking up where the previous one ended. Same year “Expo ’70” in Osaka took place: a symbolic event marking Japan’s transition from the post-war period towards its own, new path of development in society, economy, technology, as well as culture: meaning a lot of people were seeking an original cultural identity, looking inside rather than outwards. This is why I thought it is important to start the exhibition from 1970 and up to the present day. Many exhibitions on contemporary Japanese art organised by foreign curators focus on art produced in the 1950-60s: mainly because this period was largely influenced by the European modernism, so it is easy for Western curators to contextualise it under this umbrella. In Japan of the 70s, Minimalism starts developing, whereas in the 80s...

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“Warhol Underground” at the Centre Pompidou-Metz

The Centre Pompidou in Metz is to host an exhibition dedicated to the works of the well-known artist Andy Warhol, entitled “Warhol Underground”, from 1 July until 23 November 2015. The exhibition also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s meeting with The Velvet Underground in 1965, before he became their producer. The exhibition will present the artist’s greatest works of Pop art through his connections with the New York underground scene, exploring the influence of the music scene and avant-garde choreography on Warhol’s work. Throughout the exhibition, music will guide visitors towards a rediscovery of the artist’s work, through more than 150 photographs by Nat Finkelstein, Billy Name, Steve Schapiro, and Stephen Shore, films, and some of Warhol’s most emblematic works, such as Ten Lizes, Brillo Soap Pads Box, Campbell’s Soup Cans, White Disaster and Big Electric Chair. In addition, archives and vinyl record sleeves—considered by Andy Warhol as genuine art works—will convey a visual and auditory tone to Andy Warhol’s work. “I never wanted to be a painter; I wanted to be a tap dancer,” said Warhol, even though the work of the Pop art master is often reduced to its pictorial dimension. “I don’t paint any more, I gave it up about a year ago and just do movies now. Painting was just a phase I went through.” Many of the artist’s declarations show how his deeply moving work went beyond painting, as Warhol himself...

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“Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty” at Mori Art Museum

From 25 April to 5 July 2015, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, is to host an exhibition entitled “Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty”, in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou-Metz and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. 130 different artworks from all eras of history and all ends of the globe will be presented at this exhibition, which will be divided into nine sections. All the works are united under the theme of “simple forms”, which refers to the idea that simple, beautiful forms influence artists from all ages and all over the world. This inspiration can be seen in a wide range of art, from Modern and Contemporary artworks, to prehistoric artefacts, and most importantly, in the Japanese aesthetic featured in the traditional crafts, the tea ceremony utensils, Buddhist statues, and Zen paintings on display. This exhibition aims to provide an overview of a timeless and universal aesthetic and common appreciation of beauty uniting all...

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Hans Richter and the capturing of time: Interview with Philippe-Alain Michaud, curator of the exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz

Metz, 9 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 28 September 2013 until 24 February 2014, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is to present an exhibition entitled “Hans Richter: La traversée du siècle” (Hans Richter: Across a century). Examining over 50 years of the artist’s production, the show aligns Richter’s works with those of other 20th century artists, considering his works in a broader social, political and formal context. Art Media Agency spoke to Philippe-Alain Michaud, the Curator and Director of Experimental Cinema at the Centre Pompidou Metz, who organised the exhibition with Timothy O. Benson, Director of LACMA’s Rifkind, and Commissioner Cécile Bargues. Can you tell me about your background? What made you want to organise this exhibition? My current position is curator of the film collection at the Centre Pompidou. The exhibition was first held at LACMA in Los Angeles, then at the Centre Pompidou, and a third one is to take place in Berlin at Martin-Gropius-Bau. Hans Richter is of great interest to me, as he is at once a visual artist, painter and illustrator, and filmmaker. There’s an important relationship between the artist’s cinematic work, and his pictorial and graphic pieces. The solo exhibition which was presented in Los Angeles, which was chronologically organised, really demonstrated the great influence which Richter had on filmmaking, not only in terms of the final work produced, but right from the drawing board stage. Film is generally considered to be an extension of photography, taking a picture and adding elements of movement and temporality. In the early 1920s, Richter reinvented this practice, placing drawings onto large film rolls in order to create a sense of movement. He took photographs these reels of drawings, image-by-image, using the same format as a cinema frame, a 4/3 ratio. The films were therefore created using...

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The Fondation Hermès joins with the Centre Pompidou-Metz

Metz, 11 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Fondation Hermès is to collaborate with the Centre Pompidou Metz, to host an exhibition focused on “simple forms” to be presented between June and November 2014. The show is to be curated by Jean De Loisy, chairman of the Palais de Tokyo, who is to produce an exhibition which “showcases our fascination for simple forms, be they contemporary or prehistoric. It shows how these forms have been essential for the development of modernity.” “It is not the Centre Pompidou-Metz that is holding an exhibition with the support of the Fondation Hermès. It is a joint project, conceived by the Centre Pompidou-Metz and the Fondation Hermès collectively”, stresses Laurent Le Bon, Director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, adding “It is a win-win partnership.” Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Artistic Director of Hermès International stated “It is a form of philanthropy that, I hope, is different, at once selfless and committed […] But we are not interfering. We are not the curators, nor are we the commissioners of the exhibition. We are not exhibiting objects created by...

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