Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer

Group Exhibition. Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan.

30 January 2016 – 3 April 2016

'Dreams of Magnificence' (2008-2009)

Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates
©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2016

The exhibition of Takashi Murakami's Superflat Collection at the Yokohama Museum of Art is the first large-scale public display of the Japanese artist's private collection of contemporary art.

Murakami is renowned for his extremely polished works blending contemporary art and traditional Japanese painting, high culture and pop culture, East and West. Murakami has also been active as a curator, gallerist, and producer. In recent years, in particular, he has become an avid collector, acquiring a wide variety of artworks from Japan and beyond. This little known collection, while loosely focused on contemporary art, includes ancient Japanese and Asian artifacts, European antiques, contemporary pottery, and folk art and crafts.

Included in the exhibtion is Hirst's painting 'Dreams of Magnificence' (2008-2009). This work comes from a series of paintings Hirst began shortly after graduating from Goldsmiths (1989) after seeing flies get stuck on primed canvases in his Brixton studio. Taking this idea, but wanting to create something beautiful, Hirst started fixing the bodies of dead butterflies to monochrome gloss-painted canvases. Describing their visual effect as: “solid fucking gloss-paint horror,” the choice of household gloss is integral to the works, intended by Hirst to “look like an accident of paint with butterflies stuck on it”.[1]

Other artists included in the exhibition are Nobuyoshi Araki, Frank Benson, Maurizio Cattelan, Mark Grotjahn, Horst Janssen, Anselm Kiefer, Rosanjin Kitaōji, Friedrich Kunath, Matthew Monahan Grayson Perry, Anselm Reyle, David Shrigley, Shōhaku Soga, Lee U-fan and Nara Yoshitomo. 


[1] Damien Hirst cited in Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn, ‘On the Way to Work’ (Faber and Faber, 2001), 133