The MCA presents Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, a major retrospective of paintings by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (b. 1962). Concentrating on Murakami’s negotiation of contemporaneity and tradition as well as his exceptional level of craft, the exhibition features fifty artworks and surveys three decades of the artist’s paintings, from his earliest mature works—many of which are being shown in North America for the first time—to some of his most recent paintings.
Best known for his commercial ventures, comics and animations, and post-apocalyptic characters, Murakami has engaged dualities of high and low culture, ancient and modern subjects, and Eastern and Western art throughout his career. The exhibition explores these themes, situating Murakami’s monumental works in relation to his many influences: folklore, the traditional Japanese painting of Nihonga—a subject in which Murakami earned a PhD—the Tokyo art scene of the 1980s and 1990s, and the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and is curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling.
Lead support for Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is provided by Ken Griffin.