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Past Special Exhibition 2010

Komai Tetsuro Exhibition — Prints from the Fukuhara Collection
Between the Dark of Night and the Light
Commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth

At the Shiseido Gallery: In Adration of Color   26 October (Tue) to 19 December (Sun), 2010
At the Shiseido Art House: Melodies in Black and White   29 October (Fri) to 19 December (Sun), 2010

The Shiseido Art House and Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Gallery were pleased to present this exhibition of the works of Komai Tetsuro (1920—76), a pioneer in the field of copperplate printing in Japan and a figure who made a major impact on printmaking in the post-war period.
The Shiseido Gallery's long relationship with Komai began when it hosted his highly anticipated first solo show in 1953, and continued through numerous group exhibitions through his last show as the final exhibitor in the Kyu Nin no Kai (Group of Nine) exhibition. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of Komai's birth, this exhibition presented a selection of his works from the collection of Shiseido Corporation honorary chairman Fukuhara Yoshiharu, now temporarily housed at the Setagaya Art Museum.

At the Shiseido Art House, the exhibition focused on Komai's monochrome works, known for highlighting “the beauty of forms in black and white,” including about 150 pieces considered representative, significantly early, or created as book illustrations in collaboration with various poets and authors. At the Shiseido Gallery, the exhibition showed about 100 color monotype prints that were central to the Fukuhara collection, introducing the artist's use of color. Together these exhibitions offered an excellent opportunity to look back with fresh perspective on the career of this groundbreaking copperplate print artist.

Masterpieces in Oil from the Collection — The Shiseido Gallery & Post-War Western-Style Painting

27 July (Tue) to 17 October (Sun), 2010

This exhibition at the Shiseido Art House featured post–Word War Two oil paintings from the museum's collection, focusing on works previously shown at the Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo.
Even from its earliest years under its first president, Fukuhara Shinzo (1883–1948), Shiseido has endeavored to support artistic culture in Japan. In 1919 it took the lead in this by founding the Shiseido Gallery, an exhibition space dedicated to introducing the work of up-and-coming artists from Japan and abroad. Many of the artists who made their debuts at the Shiseido Gallery would go on to make significant and lasting contributions to the history of modern art in Japan.
This exhibition presented over forty works by sixteen artists, focusing on those who had participated in the long-running Tsubakikai exhibitions started by Shiseido in 1947, as well as those who were mainstays of the Shiseido-sponsored Mayumikai group shows that ran from 1950 through 1968.
Gallery One featured twenty-eight works by fifteen of the artists responsible for driving post-war Western-style figurative painting, including Order of Cultural Merit recipients like Ushijima Noriyuki, Umehara Ryuzaburo, and Oka Shikanosuke. Gallery Two featured ten works by Kodama Yasue, who exhibited with the Fifth Tsubakikai (2001–05). Kodama is known for using scenes encountered casually in everyday life as motifs to create oil paintings in which backgrounds and figures melt into one another to create airy, dreamlike visions. Such scenes, apprehended through the vision of this contemporary artist, bring our attention to the beauty found in the everyday.
This exhibition offered an opportunity to look back at post-war expression in oil paints, and at the same time gave a glimpse of some of the activities that have been part of Shiseido's long-running support of artistic culture.

Forms in Glass — Trio Exhibition by Iwata Toshichi, Iwata Hisatoshi, and Iwata Ruri

9 April (Fri) to 19 July (Mon), 2010

This exhibition featured forty works in glass by members of the Iwata family, including master modern glass craft pioneer and teacher Iwata Toshichi (1893–1980), his eldest son Iwata Hisatoshi (1925–94), and Hisatoshi's eldest daughter, Iwata Ruri (1951– ), the latter producing both craft pieces and more innovative artistic pieces.
Iwata Toshichi was one of the first Japanese applied fine artists to work with glass, following path relatively untrod in Japan at that time. His richly colored, complex, diverse expressions in blown glass touched not only art, but also expanded glass craft into the realm of everyday usable craft objects.
Toshichi's son Hisatoshi developed the glassblowing techniques of his father even further, becoming active as one of the leading lights of glass craft. He was a founding member of the Shiseido-sponsored Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts (1975–95), submitting works for display eighteen times up until 1993.
Iwata Ruri, a founding member of the Shiseido-sponsored Fifth Tsubakikai Exhibition (2001–05), set out in new directions to create works like the large cast sculpture installed in the Shiseido Art House garden, while at the same time continuing to create diverse works in the medium of her family's traditional blown glass.
This exhibition of three generations of the Iwata family was very much a look back at the history of glass craft in Japan, but it also hinted strongly that crafts using glass as a medium will continue to expand and extend themselves in Japan.

Yamana Ayao — Illustrations & Oil Paintings

13 January (Wed) to 22 March (Mon), 2010

This exhibition featured the works of Yamana Ayao (1897–1980), a pioneer of Japanese commercial design who was active both before and after World War Two.
Yamana was born in Hiroshima, attended the prefectural Wakayama Middle School (now Toin High School), and later went to Umeda, Osaka to study oil painting at the Western painting studio of Akamatsu Rinsaku. In the late 1910s he was involved in magazine editing and writing, then later joined the company Platon where he took up a career as an illustrator.
In 1929 Yamana joined Shiseido's design department. He would leave the company and return to it twice during his career, but over the years contributed through his art direction to establishing a distinct advertisement design style for Shiseido. Until the 1960s, when the mainstream of advertising switched to photography, it was Yamana and his hand-painted images of women that gave form to the Shiseido image as known through its advertisements.
This exhibition displayed over 100 originals from Yamana's portfilio, not only those related to Shiseido, but also many rare illustrations for ordinary book jackets, frontispieces, illustrated plates and pages, and self-publications. The show included many rarely seen oil paintings and peripheral materials, introducing several sides of Yamana and highlighting the appeal of his work.