Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) is proud to announce a new major exhibition by Takashi Murakami, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Middle East. Murakami – Ego will be on view from February 9 to June 24, 2012 in the Al-Riwaq exhibition hall, located on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art on Doha’s Corniche. The exhibition will immerse visitors in a fantasy world conceived by the renowned Japanese artist, capturing the way Murakami channels the ecstasy and anxiety of contemporary culture.
Following major retrospectives at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and at the Château de Versailles, Murakami – Ego is the final chapter in a trilogy of exhibitions that have established Takashi Murakami as one of the most fascinating artists working today. This new exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, will feature more than 60 works from 1997 to the present, on loan from leading international institutions and private collections, as well as several new works created especially for this show.
Murakami – Ego is part of a series of cultural initiatives organized by the QMA to promote and support local and international art, foster conversations about artists and popular culture, and build bridges between cultures. At the time of the opening of Murakami – Ego, QMA also will present Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
“Qatar Museums Authority is pleased to present the work of renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami in Doha, for his first solo exhibition in the Middle East,” said Qatar Museums Authority Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. “The exhibition continues to advance QMA’s mission to encourage global cultural dialogue and exchange, as well as launch the 2012 celebration of forty years of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan.”
A portrait of the artist as a cartoon, Murakami – Ego will illuminate the role of the artist as a cipher and critic of pop phenomena, as well as a mirror of global networks of consumerism, interpretation, and exchange. The exhibition pays special attention to the diverse strands of contemporary culture and art history that inform and inspire Murakami’s paintings and sculptures, while also highlighting both the joyful and obsessive qualities of his work. The provocative title is drawn from Murakami’s desire to create an exhibition that is “a dialogue with one’s own ego,” reflecting the artist’s struggle to create a private fictional universe in response to a growing information overload.
Takashi Murakami Warhol/Silver, 2009 Acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on board 150 x 5 cm diameter Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, Paris © 2009 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.The exhibition will feature some of the artist’s most celebrated series, including “Kaikai Kiki Lots of Faces” and “Pom and Me,” which will be presented in their entirety for the first time. For this presentation, Murakami has conceived of the exhibition itself as a work of art, creating new modes of display that include sculptural pedestals with digital animation, a circus tent that doubles as an indoor cinema, and a new 100-meter-long painting that wraps around the exhibition space. Most spectacularly, the artist will depict himself as a larger than life inflatable creature, greeting visitors at the entrance of the exhibition, turning the show into a giant self-portrait, in which Murakami appears as a character in his own typically supernatural world.
Murakami – Ego will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with writings and notes by Takashi Murakami, an interview with exhibition curator Massimiliano Gioni, and images from the exhibition.
About Takashi Murakami
With a PhD degree in Nihonga painting from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Takashi Murakami has developed a signature style where the most modern techniques combine with the skill and precision of traditional Japanese art. Since his first monographic exhibition outside Japan in 1995 at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Murakami has become recognized as one of the most prominent contemporary artists of his time. His work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions at museums and art institutions throughout the world, including The Meaning of the Nonsense of the Meaning at the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, NY, in 1999; P.S.1 in Long Island City, NY, in 2000; Grand Central Station in 2001; the Fondation Cartier and the Serpentine Gallery in 2002; Rockefeller Center in 2003; and recently in the traveling retrospective ©MURAKAMI, shown first at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2007, then followed by shows at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) in Frankfurt, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In 2010, France’s renowned Château de Versailles organized an important solo exhibition of his works on the palace grounds.
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