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  • Provenance

    Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Takashi Murakami: Superflat Monogram, April 11 - May 10, 2003

  • Catalogue Essay

    Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Monogram is a visually charged example of the artist’s famous Superflat manifesto which uses the flat picture planes of traditional Japanese paintings in a decidedly contemporary fashion.This work features the repetitive multicolored letters of a globally recognized brand, Louis Vuitton, arranged in a grid-like pattern with a typical Murkami motif of flowers. The smooth uninflected surface of the painting, without visible brushstrokes, forces the viewer to read the work both across and vertically, similarly to the way the eye moves when viewing a Japanese scroll or Edo period painting. Murakami insists on this superslick surface which contrasts most Western paintings that draw the eye into perspectival recesses. The artist wants his art to be observed in a detached manner; looking across, rather into, the image.
    With this painting, Murakami has applied his Superflat theory most strictly; the monogram pattern could be seen as a commentary on the similarity between artistic and commercial production. However, Murakami believes that Superflat is more than a specifically Japanese post-modern aesthetic; for him, the Superflat theory can be applied, with the necessary variations, to the current state of global society, a round world that has become flat thanks to the internet and digital technology.The artist’s embrace of technology, mass production methods, merchandising and artistic traditions further perpetuates this theory and challenges each viewer to re-assess the contemporary context in which we all live.
    © 2003 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd All Rights Reserved.

  • Artist Biography

    Takashi Murakami

    Japanese • 1962

    Takashi Murakami is best known for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture. He uses recognizable iconography like Mickey Mouse and cartoonish flowers and infuses it with Japanese culture. The result is a boldly colorful body of work that takes the shape of paintings, sculptures and animations.

    In the 1990s, Murakami founded the Superflat movement in an attempt to expose the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." The artist plays on the familiar aesthetic of mangas, Japanese-language comics, to render works that appear democratic and accessible, all the while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods. True to form, Murakami has done collaborations with numerous brands and celebrities including Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Google.

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Superflat Monogram


Acrylic on canvas mounted on board.

70 7/8 x 70 7/8 in. (180 x 180 cm).

Signed and dated “Takashi ’03” on reverse.

$700,000 - 900,000 

Sold for $724,200

Contemporary Art Part I

15 May 2008, 7pm
New York