The Syllabus

Contemporary Japanese Art: Fifth Japan Art Festival Exhibition

Contemporary Japanese Art: Fifth Japan Art Festival Exhibition

Contributions by Edward F. Fry
Published in 1970
84 pages, fully illustrated
Softcover, 10.12 x 8.50 inches

This catalogue constitutes a selective survey jointly presented by the Japan Art Festival Association and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The introduction, written by Edward F. Fry, raises issues surrounding the “Westernization” of Japanese culture since 1945, delineates the quintessential attributes of Japanese art practice, and elaborates on the artistic processes of the featured artists. The artworks are divided into three separate sections based on medium and each artist is represented by images of their work, a short exhibition history, and brief biographical information.


Matsuzawa’s “paintings” are for an outside observer the most radical position in contemporary Japanese art, and at the same time a pure, “conservative” expression of the Buddhist heritage in Japanese culture. His explicit, almost total renunciation of aesthetic ego, his total unification of art with life and with the awareness of life as both tragedy and dream, may be seen as a radical critique of all Western aesthetics; but he also represents, in his current position among younger artists of quiet influence, leadership, and example, possibly a path by which the creative vision of Japan may be most adequately presented to the world.


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