Japan Society Gallery offering survey of Japanese Art Deco

japanese art deco poster

K. Kotani (dates unknown), The Modern Song (Modan bushi), 1930. Color lithograph, ink on paper, 16 x 20 in.Photo courtesy Japan Society

NEW YORK, NY- A thoroughly Japanese expression of the first truly global design style – Art Deco – came into being in the 20s and 30s, when the luxe and the low, the old and the new, and the East and the West were shaken and stirred into a unique cultural cocktail.

The Gallery at Japan Society considers this phenomenon from March 16 to June 10, 2012 in “Deco Japan: Shaping Modern Culture, 1920-1945.” The exhibition assembles fine examples of the sophisticated craftsmanship and design one associates with Japan-in ceramics, lacquerware, glass, metalwork, jewelry, textiles, sculpture, painting, and lithography – contextualized by colorful ephemera and goods mass-produced for the modern home. Some 200 works are drawn from the Levenson Collection, the world’s finest private holding of Japanese art and design from the Art Deco period.

The exhibition is the first in the U.S. to explore a little-known brand of pre-WWII modernism borne of competitive ingenuity and vivacious cosmopolitanism.

After its showing in New York, Deco Japan travels to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (July 2012); The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History (February 2013) ; The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida (November 2013); and other venues to be announced.  The exhibition and its tour are organized by Art Services International, a nonprofit traveling exhibition organization in Alexandria, Va.

For more information, visit JapanSociety.org.