With his wife, the Western-style painter Toshi Maruki (née Toshiko Akamatsu; 1912-2000), the Nihonga (Japanese-style) painter Iri Maruki (1912-2000) collaborated to depict some of the calamities that have befallen people such as war and environmental pollution. The Hiroshima Panels, an important early trilogy by the Marukis, traveled all over Japan in the early 1950s at a time when press restrictions were still in effect. An early attempt to convey the horrific conditions that existed in Hiroshima following the atomic bomb, the series came to be a symbol of anti-nuclear and anti-war sentiment. Along with The Hiroshima Panels and related materials, this exhibition presents works by each artist from before and after the war, and considers how the pictorial endeavors and ideas expressed in the trilogy fit into the Marukis’ oeuvre.
The exhibition is made up of three sections: “Collection Highlights,” and two special features, “The Century with Mushroom Clouds,” and “Prayer.”In the first, we focus on artists who, as leaders in a number of important trends, are indispensable to any discussion of 20th century art.
The date August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bomb and a day that will never be forgotten in Hiroshima, will fall during the exhibition. To commemorate this fact, we present two special features focusing on art related to the bomb.
Opened in 1979, the Fukuoka Art Museum is a major institution known for its extensive collection of some 16,000 items, centering on two main pillars: modern and contemporary art, and antiques. As the museum is currently in the midst of a major renovation project in preparation for its reopening in 2019, this exhibition features approximately 70 masterpieces of American, European, and Japanese art from the museum collection. From Dalí and Warhol to Yayoi Kusama, the exhibition provides a valuable opportunity to retrace the course of modern art, marked by the rise and fall of a variety of movements in the 20th century, at this moment in time.