Takashi Murakami, ‘An Homage to Monopink, 1960 D’, 2012, Martin Lawrence Galleries

In 2011, Takashi Murakami debuted new paintings that were a tribute to Yves Klein, the late French artist who is considered a leading proponent of Nouveau réalisme and developer of the famous International Klein Blue (IKB). This deep blue color was used liberally by Murakami in his flower and skull motifs for the show as well as one of the monochromatic works that was offered in this new body of work.

“I think that most people would agree that color is among the most important elements of my work and when we look back on the life of Yves Klein, the reason becomes clear. Color is much like the means of Japanese Zen Buddhism, it is a tool that can instantaneously guide people to a world outside themselves. I would like to dedicate this exhibition to the artist who has most passionately pursued this exploration of color - Yves Klein.” Takashi Murakami

Signature: Signed by the Artist

Image rights: Martin Lawrence Galleries

Publisher: Takashi Murakami; Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., Tokyo

About Takashi Murakami

One of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from postwar Asia, Takashi Murakami—“the Warhol of Japan”—is known for his contemporary Pop synthesis of fine art and popular culture, particularly his use of a boldly graphic and colorful anime and manga cartoon style. Murakami became famous in the 1990s for his “Superflat” theory and for organizing the paradigmatic exhibition of that title, which linked the origins of contemporary Japanese visual culture to historical Japanese art. His output includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, animations, and collaborations with brands such as Louis Vuitton. “Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of “high art’,” Murakami says. “In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready with my hard hat.”

Japanese, b. 1962, Tokyo, Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan