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The Exhibition of Seiji Togo,his Studios and Works

In postwar Japan, female figures painted by Seiji Togo adorned department store walls and cake packages, adding a poetic feel to cities filled with vibrant energy of reconstruction. A cup or sewing kit decorated with profile views of his delicate young women can probably be found hidden away somewhere in the average Japanese home today.

Seiji perfected his style of such female figures that captivated many Japanese people in the early part of Showa era (1926-1989). Prior to that, he had been involved in avant-garde movements such as Futurism and Dadaism. He became deeply inspired by the classical paintings of the Louvre and the sophisticated Parisian lifestyle during his stay in France, after which he drastically altered his style.

Despite the popularity, however, very few have offered analysis of his postwar work. This was because the gap between his sweet, romantic style of representing women and his political skills which led him to serve as the leader of Nika Association caused bewilderment among critics who conformed to the modernist philosophy which advocated progressivism and art of art’s sake. Even the women in Seiji’s paintings, keeping their long lashes lowered, disclose very little about their creator.

This exhibition, entitled “Atelier of Showa”, will take an up-close view of Seiji’s working style and environment by focusing on works he donated to Sompo Japan Museum of Art in the last years of his life, combined with photographs and mementos he left behind. By displaying images of his studio, his preliminary sketches, and a portion of books he owned, the exhibition will attempt to introduce Seiji’s vision behind his stylish images of women and offer a glimpse into the source of his inspiration.

Exhibition Details

Period
From December 1st (Sat.) to December 26th (Wed.), 2007
(closed Mondays except December 24th)
Location
Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art
1-26-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8338
Sompo Japan Headquarters build. 42nd floor
Open Hours
10:00-18:00 (Admittance by 17:30)
Admission
Adults: 500yen (400yen)
University & High School Students: 300 yen (200yen)
Children of Junior High School or under: Free
( ) indicated discount rates for groups of 20 and more
Organized by
Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art
Nihon Keizai Shimbun,Inc.

Works

《Butterfly》/1969/Oil on canvas
The atelier of Paris/c.1925
The atelier of Shimokitazawa/1930’s
《Nostalgia》/1959/Oil on canvas
《Czechoslovakian Woman》/1970/Pencil, watercolor on paper