For immediate release:
Daughter of Art History
September 9 – October 16, 1999
Opening September 9, Luhring Augustine is pleased to present a series of self- portraits by the Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura, which offer an unconventional critique of art history. Morimura simultaneously appropriates and subverts significant art historical masterpieces in this formative body of work. Through his deconstruction of the notion of the “masterpiece,” Morimura calls into question assumptions imparted on such works by Western documentation of art history, as well as commenting on Japan’s absorption of Western culture. Although the earliest photo was created in 1985, most of these pieces have never before been shown in New York.
Morimura appropriates selected art historical icons, such as Rembrandt, Manet and Man Ray, by inserting his own image as the subject of each work. This exhibition culminates with Morimura’s newest additions to the art historical series, including a portrait of himself as a Cindy Sherman Centerfold. By combining a selection of the great Western works of art, from the high Renaissance to contemporary art, Morimura essentially creates a museum environment that documents the development of major trends in the history of art. However, Morimura’s interpretation and representation is particularly effective because while Morimura renegotiates the definition of masterpiece, he genuinely identifies with and respects the artists themselves. By inserting himself into the work, he recreates, relives and indulges in the artistic process. His ability to satirize and simultaneously create an homage is what enables his work to defy categorization.
Morimura has shown extensively in international solo exhibitions, and his work is in the following selected collections: The Yokohama Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
For more information, please contact Claudia Altman-Siegel at 212-206-9100.