Exhibition Paintings for Music by Hiroshi Nagai Japanese Foundation
We love this retrospective of the beloved Japanese illustrator who rode the wave of post-war pop culture
Often compared to the dazzling appeal of British painter David Hockney, Japanese illustrator Hiroshi Nagai is an exceptional artist in his own right. Beginning with designing record covers, he portrayed the clean lines of dreamy Californian beachside scenes with a vibrant panache that made his work pop in 1980s Japan.
And pop is the right word, as the Tokushima-born artist’s vision of midnight blue swimming pools, swaying palm trees and square Cadillacs parked in the sand has propelled him to the forefront of city pop style. It was a cultural wave embraced by the suddenly cash-rich working class whose prospects flew in the post-war period. With an eye on Western mores, Japan was also leading the world in its own way, stepping into the future with a huge technological push. Music also exploded outside, in the streets with the invention of the Sony Walkman, with boomboxes and cars plugged into cassette players.
Nagai knew how to ride the city’s pop wave, and now you can experience glorious highlights from his prolific 40-year career in a retrospective hosted by the Japan Foundation in Chippendale. It runs from September 25 to January 23 of next year, so slip in and soak up some of its finest imagery, featuring egg-yellow facades of Tower Records stores and the blush pink of landscapes. cityscape at sunset reflecting in the water.
There are pieces on display from his heyday of the ’80s until now, with Nagai as such a prolific and successful artist as ever. Nagai is a music critic to boot these days, and you can be sure that some of his original record cover designs are also on display at the Japan Foundation exhibition, and there will be a series of events to accompany the show. gallery exhibition. So get ready for summer by immersing yourself in Nagai’s neon nights and luminous beach delights.
Do you like vibrant art? You can pick up some of the best of the Biennale at auction.
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