The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto


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Felice [Lizzi] Rix-Ueno: Design Fantasy Originating in Vienna

2021.11.16 tue. - 01.16 sun.

This exhibition is the world’s first comprehensive retrospective of Felice [Lizzi] Rix-Ueno (1893 – 1967), a designer active in Vienna and Kyoto.
Born in Vienna during the city’s golden era of culture, Rix-Ueno – known as Lizzi – graduated from the School of Applied Arts Vienna, and then went on to work for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops). She moved to live in Kyoto when she married Japanese architect Isaburo Ueno.
Before the Second World War Lizzi divided her time between Vienna and Kyoto, working on a wide variety of design projects including everyday items, and interior decoration like wallpaper and textiles. After the war she and her husband both taught at today’s Kyoto City University of Arts, and after retiring from the university the couple set up the International Design Institute where Lizzi made an immense contribution to nurturing future generations of designers, leaving an enduring legacy.
In addition to a large number of pieces from the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, this exhibition brings together around 370 works and materials by Lizzi and related artists from institutions in Japan and abroad, including the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art, Vienna, to present an overview of Lizzi's fascinating world of colourful and imaginative design.

* Before her marriage the artist’s full name was Felice Rix, nicknamed ‘Lizzi’. After her marriage she hyphenated her surnames German style, becoming Felice Ueno-Rix, and she often used her nickname, signing herself “Lizzi Ueno-Rix”. In the Romanised texts for this exhibition we use the English name order, Felice [Lizzi] Rix-Ueno, abbreviated to “Lizzi” in essays and longer passages.

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Commemorative Exhibition of New Acquisition
KISHIDA Riusei and the Morimura & Matsukata Collection

2022.01.29 sat. - 03.06 sun.

In March 2021, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto acquired a group of 42 works by the painter Kishida Ryusei. This brings the total number of Kishida’s works in the museum collection to approximately 50 items, providing a complete overview of the artist’s creative activities and exemplifying every stylistic change that occurred from the beginning to the end of his career.

In this exhibit, designed to commemorate these new acquisitions, we present all of the works by Kishida Ryusei in the museum collection. We also focus on some such as Self-Portrait Wearing a Coat, which was formerly part of the Morimura Yoshiyuki Collection, and Still Life (A Bottle, an Apple and a Teacup), which was part of Morimura’s younger brother Matsukata Saburo’s collection, while taking a look back at the role of such collections in honoring the work of Kishida.

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Salon Culture and the Pictorial Arts of Kyoto and Osaka

2022.03.23 wed. - 05.08 sun.

In the Edo Period (1603-1868), Kyoto was distinguished by a host of highly individualistic painters. These included literati painters such as Ikeno Taiga and Yosa Buson; Maruyama Okyo, who garnered popularity for works that he were painted from life; and Goshun, who studied with Buson and Okyo, and went on to establish his own lyrical style. At the same time, in Osaka, there were figures such as Kimura Kenkado and Okada Beisanjin, who worked primarily as merchants, and countless writers, who were devoted to painting as a pastime. Whether samurai, merchant, painter, Confucian scholar or Buddhist priest, these people were part of an expansive network. As suggested by the fact that Kimura Kenkado, who is seen as a central figure in the Osaka art world, studied with Taiga, these personal interactions extended to Kyoto. There were also many painters in Osaka whose style was descended from the Maruyama-Shijo school of Okyo and Goshun. And there were painters such as Nishiyama Hoen, an Osaka-based artist who painted from life and studied with Goshun’s younger brother, Matsumura Keibun, whose work grew out of the close relationship between Kyoto and Osaka. This tight circle of learned people might best be described as a salon culture. In addition, water transport, which made use of the Yodo River, fostered exchanges between the artists, and played an important part in shaping this rich salon culture. Many cultural figures from other parts of Japan also assembled in Kyoto and Osaka, attracting venerable authorities such as Uragami Gyokudo, Tanomura Chikuden, and Tani Buncho to the salon.
In addition to introducing some of the most important works by artists who were active between the Edo Period and modern times in Kyoto and Osaka, this exhibition focuses on the salon culture that emerged as a result of the relationship between these figures.
Based on joint research we have conducted in the past three years with the British Museum, SOAS University of London, and Kansai University Open Research Center for Asian Studies, this large-scale exhibition sets out to survey the art of Kyoto and Osaka from an international perspective.

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Past Exhibitions