Special ExhibitionNOBUYA ABE 1913-1971: Insatiable Quest beyond Borders

Nobuya Abe (1913-1971), an artist from Niigata, leaped into the spotlight at a young age through his collaboration with Shuzo Takiguchi on a book of poems and pictures entitled Yosei no kyori [Fairy’s Distance] (1937). He also eagerly contributed works and critiques to magazines and played a significant role in the avant-garde photography movement before World War II. From 1941, he was assigned to the military press section, where, besides producing posters and photographs at the front in the Philippines, he did many sketches. His artistic style changed bewilderingly after the war from Surrealism to Art Informel and geometric abstraction. He submitted his works to numerous international exhibitions such as the Bienal de São Paulo. Moreover, applying his natural language skills, he took part in international conferences and was active beyond the domestic boundary of Japan. He spent almost ten years late in life in Italy. While producing his own works, he also made an effort to introduce foreign artistic trends and his broad-ranging activities continued to have an influence on the Japanese art world.

In this exhibition, in addition to major works from his early period to his later years, through relevant materials such as magazines, photographs, and sketches and works by other Japanese and foreign artists who had connections with Abe, we shall trace the footsteps of this border crosser who continued to traverse not only countries and regions but genres and fields, too.

Exhibition flyer(PDF:1.2MB)

Nobuya Abe’s Circle of Friends

Ben Shahn, Lucio Fontana, Aiko Miyawaki, and Tomonori Toyofuku.

Some of the Artists included in An Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Paintings (1965) Produced by Nobuya Abe

Lucio Fontana, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio, Antonino Virduzzo,
Mario Schifano, Giuseppe Uncini, Günther Uecker, Heinz Mack, and Otto Piene.

Date March 23 – May 20, 2018
Hours 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays (except April 30) and May 1
Admission Adults 1,030 (820) yen, University students 720 (620) yen,
High school students and seniors [65 and over] 510 (410) yen
*Figures in parentheses: Advance purchase and groups of 30 or more
*Junior high school students and younger: Free admission
*May 5 (Children’s Day): Free for children through high-school
Organized by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Yomiuri Shimbun
and The Japan Association of Art Museums
Sponsored by Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education, Hiroshima FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.
and Onomichi FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.
In cooperation with Lion Corporation, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.

Conception of Winds from Fairy’s Distance 1937
Niigata City Art Museum

Eyes of the night from Photo-Times magazine 1939

Hunger 1949
The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura&Hayama

Taro 1949
The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, The NiigataBandaijima Art Museum

Work 1968
Hamamatsu Municipal Museum of Art