Many color plates. 72 pp.; second part unpaginated. Oblong 4to (217 x 281 mm.), orig. black pictorial boards, title on spine, orig. slipcase (a little worn). Tokyo: Parco Co., 1991.
A scarce catalogue on Kawara’s previously unstudied five-year stay in Tokyo, where he was part of influential avant-garde art student associations and wrote many pieces of art criticism. His violent and grotesque imagery from this period is in stark contrast to his streamlined conceptual “Date Paintings.” This book reproduces the complete Bathroom series (1953-54; Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art), Events in a Warehouse (1954; ibid.), and a number of figurative paintings and drawings executed in Japan. There are two essays, in both Japanese and English, “The History of an Odd Generation” by Makoto Oda, and “At the Junction of Time and Space: On Kawara in the 1950s” by Tadashi Yokoyama. The latter half of this book, alluding to his I Read series, is a collection of newspaper headlines from 1952 to 1956 in both languages, printed on newsprint.
“Considering his notorious silence and the intensely private persona he has cultivated over the last half-century, it is intriguing to realise that the young Kawara of the 1950s was a very outspoken public figure. In contrast to his later mute persona, while in Japan, Kawara actively published articles and participated in a range of group activities, which demonstrated his involvement with contemporary art’s determination to bear witness to the social reality of the time and to epitomise the anxiety of the great rupture of the nation’s history which resulted from the Second World War.”–J. Woo, “Terror of the Bathroom: On Kawara’s Early Figurative Drawings and Postwar Japan,” in Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2010), p. 263.
A near fine copy; foxing to the edges. Housed in a slipcase with a bit of wear.
Item ID: 8322