The famous Galerie Perrotin is currently hosting Takashi Murakami’s 12th solo exhibition with the Gallery over more than 20 years. Spanning across the three spaces in Paris at 76 rue de Turenne and 10 impasse Saint-Claude, more than 40 recent and heretofore never seen artworks have been gathered for this special occasion.
On the first floor, visitors are greeted by a series of new triptychs and diptychs conceived by Murakami as homage to the painter Francis Bacon, alongside recognizable sculpture pieces from the artist’s catalogue like “Dragon Heads – Gold.”
Upstairs, a piece from the “Enso” (literally, circle) series demonstrates Murakami’s affinity for mixed media. A spray painted circle following one of the most famous motifs in Japanese Zen Painting sits above a silver textured background of the artist’s trademark skulls in a three meter wide and tall piece which fills a whole room. Other pieces upstairs inspired by Japanese artist Ogata Korin place the skull at the forefront in gold or silver leaf, evoking the Latin phrase “memento mori” which translates to “remember that you will die.”
The secondary space next door at 10 Impasse Saint-Claude features more than 15 painted handbags with accompanying paintings, as well as the monumental multi-panel painting “A Picture of Lives Wriggling in the Forest at the Deep End of the Universe” which reaches around three walls and represents a large scale anthology of Murakami’s mind-melting world.
Throughout the exhibition, the artist’s style is instantly recognizable through his simultaneously charming and monstrous cartoon characters, signature skull and flower motifs which explore the impermanence of our lives, and his affinity for mixed media technique.
“Learning the Magic of Painting” will be on display until December 23.
76 Rue de Turenne
- Words & Photography: Blake Rodich