Today, more than 800 works of Sezon Museum of Modern Art’s collection are open to the public. The museum’s extensive modern art collection starts with its headstream in the early 20th century abstract paintings of Kandinsky and Klee, and flows to European art represented by Dada and Surrealism, the post-war trend from Informel and Nouveau réalisme to Neo-expressionism, and then to the post-war American art development from Abstract Expressionism to Neo Dada, Pop art, and to Neo expressionism, and finally to the post-war Japanese modern art, which receives increased recognition globally in recent years. The collection is roughly categorized into three groups: 1. Pioneer [ll1] age of modern art, 2. Modern art in post-war world, and 3. Modern art in post-war Japan.
Division -Unit (1934/1934) by Wassily KandinskySezon Museum of Modern Art
Pioneer age of modern art – Pre-war avant-garde.
The trend of so-called avant-garde, which emerged simultaneously at various areas throughout Europe from the 1910s to the 1920s, generated experimental and innovative art. Starting from Expressionism, Kandinsky, one of founders of abstract paintings, developed his art and reached complete abstract art.
Buste (1922/1922) by Paul KleeSezon Museum of Modern Art
This is the period known for global and energetic creativity of Paul Klee, who accomplished poetic and pure art, Marcel Duchamp, who fully used humor and wit in his works, and Man Ray of Dada, Max Ernst known for Surrealism, which began under the influence of Sigmund Freud ’s psychoanalysis, and Juan Miro.
Still Life with Red Wine (1972/1972) by Roy LichtensteinSezon Museum of Modern Art
Modern art in post-war world – post-war avant-garde.
Defections of avant-garde artists in Europe to the United States triggered the center of art in the world to move from Paris to New York after the World War II. Entry of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko known for Abstract Expressionism, which emerged in the 1940s, into the art scene had a great impact on the world’s art trend. Jasper Johns of Neo Dada, which developed as a reaction to Abstract Expressionism, and Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein of Pop art earned and solidified the reputation of American art.
Space Concept ,Waiting (1965/1965) by Lucio FontanaSezon Museum of Modern Art
On the other side of Atlantic, Informel, a new abstract painting trend Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Soulages participated, emerged in Europe. The trend in Europe was followed by Nouveau réalisme, an artistic movement started by artists such as Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, and Arman. Revival of paintings began as a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s with a series of painters, including Anselm Kiefer, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel, appearing on the art scene.
Solutions of Continuities No.7 (1964/1964) by Hisao DomotoSezon Museum of Modern Art
Modern art in post-war Japan
As the 20th century art revolved around Europe and the United States, artists in other areas studied in Paris or New York from an early days, and consciousness to Western art history, aesthetics, and market led to global success after returning to their own countries. A number of post-war Japanese artists capitalized on the Western influence in expressing their distinctive sensibility and thoughts in works.
The Machanism of Meaning No.2 Splitting of Meaning (1963/1988) by Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline GinsSezon Museum of Modern Art
Hisao Domoto and Kumi Sugai moved to Paris in the 1950s and were in the middle of global trends. While Shusaku Arakawa and Ushio Shinohara developed the anti-art activity from the late 1950s to 1960s and then moved to New York , their contemporary Natsuyuki Nakanishi stayed in Japan and pursued pictorial expression where sensibility and ideality are in harmony.
The Breaking of The Seventh Seal - Birth of Artist (1991/1991) by Tadanori YokooSezon Museum of Modern Art
Keiji Usami and Mitsuo Kano, who tried to fuse thoughts and concepts in richness of paintings, also continued to work in Japan. In the 1980s, artists such as Toeko Tatsuno and Kazumi Nakamura emerged as if to correspond worldwide revival of paintings. Shinro Otake, known for cross-sectional activities in multiple genre just like Tadanori Yokoo, who moved between two fields of art and graphic design, have captured the world’s attention since the 1980s.
©️セゾン現代美術館 SEZON MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NAGANO