Takashi Murakami’s magic language

Takashi MURAKAMI, “Dragon Heads – Gold”, 2015 Gold leaf on carbon fiber and glass fiber 131.6 x 83.2 x 83.8 cm Photo : Claire Dorn © 2015 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Galerie Perrotin Paris is delighted to present, from September 10 to December 23 2016, Takashi Murakami’s 12th solo exhibition with the Gallery over more than 20 years. Spanning across the 3 spaces in Paris at 76 rue de Turenne & 10 impasse Saint-Claude, more than 40 recent and heretofore never seen artworks have been gathered for this special occasion.

Some of the works were displayed until recently at Murakami’s major solo retrospective « The 500 Arhats », which was on view at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo from 2015 to early 2016. These include a monumental multi-panel painting entitled “A Picture of Lives Wriggling in the Forest at the Deep End of the Universe” (2015), conceived as an anthology of iconic themes of Murakami’s cosmology, from 727, Gerotan/Mr. Dob, Dragon, and Panda series to mythological animals, lion, elephant, tiger, goat, etc.

A second group of works will focus on the theme of the arhats. Originally explored by Murakami in a 100-meter long painting « The 500 Arhats » produced for his solo retrospective in Qatar in 2012, the arhat paintings represent the 500 wise followers of Buddha who attained enlightenment by overcoming their greed, hatred, and delusions, destroying their karmic residue from previous lives.

Takashi MURAKAMI “Ensō: Black Hole”, 2015 Acrylic and platinum and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame 170 x 144.7 cm Photo : Claire Dorn © 2015 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Galerie Perrotin will also feature a selection of paintings from Murakami’s « Ensō » series. The subject of these new paintings is one of the most famous motifs in Japanese Zen painting, the Ensō (literally, ‘circle’) that symbolizes emptiness, unity, and infinity in Zen Buddhism, and is also a form of meditation.

Next, Galerie Perrotin is pleased to present an entirely new series of diptychs and triptychs inspired by the work of mid-20th century master Francis Bacon. Murakami has already paid homage to Francis Bacon in 2002 through 2 paintings, « Homage to Francis Bacon (Study of Isabel Rawsthorne) » and « Homage to Francis Bacon (Study of George Dyer)« . The new works will once again focus on tortured figures, where moving flesh reveals the scars & agonies of the soul of the human being, as in the portraits of Lucian Freud.

Amidst all of these works, viewers will notice several of the motifs and characters which have defined Murakami’s art over the past twenty years. One particular focus is the motif of the skull, an image which has always been featured in Murakami’s iconography. Lastly, viewers will notice frequent appearances by Murakami’s famous alter ego, Mr. Dob, who appears in diverse contexts, morphing its own form, and whose ambivalent personality shifts from friendly to fierce, seemingly at will.

September 17 – December 23, 2016
76 rue de Turenne – 75003 Paris, France
Opening hours : From Tuesday to Saturday,
from 11am to 7pm
Telephone : (+33) 1 42 16 79 79
Mail : paris@perrotin.com
Official website : here

Main illustration :
“Title to be determined”, 2016. Acrylic, platinum leaf and gold leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel. Ø 250 cm / Ø 98 7/16 inches. Photo : Claire Dorn. © 2016 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin