The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, June 25, 2018

"The Life of Japanese Paintings": Exhibition on view at the Langen Foundation in Neuss
Sesshū Tōyō, Die zwei glücklichen Mönche Kanzan und Jittoku, Muromachi Zeit,
Tusche auf Papier © Sammlung Viktor und Marianne Langen.

NEUSS.- The Langen Foundation is presenting an exhibition titled The Life of Japanese Paintings, which has been created in collaboration with Melanie Trede, professor of Japanese art history at the University of Heidelberg.

In contrast to the approach taken in Western culture, the Japanese painting is treated as a modifiable object that may be cut apart and reassembled, thus repeatedly embarking on a new life, be it in the form of a hanging scroll, an album sheet, or a folding screen. This chequered history of Japanese painting is vividly demonstrated by example of approx. twenty works of art from the Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection.

According to our modern conception of art, the act of fragmenting and reformatting represents an (inappropriate) intervention into the integrity of an artwork. Yet a different approach has been pursued in the history of Japanese art and culture. Here fragmentation does not signify the terminus of a picture. Instead, a newly formatted section might foster other perspectives; it can be assigned new functions and enter into a different web of social and political relations. Still today, paintings are reassembled for conservational purposes: for example, works of art that have deteriorated due to wear and tear, such as fan paintings and sliding-door paintings, are attached to hanging scrolls as a protective measure.

The Life of Japanese Paintings has been decisively influenced by Western viewing habits. In the second half of the nineteenth century, this led to a shift in the reception of pre-modern art. For the first time museum exhibitions were initiated in which the typical Japanese formats – horizontal scrolls, albums, or even fan paintings – were presented in display cases. The works were no longer accessible by hand, and they were reduced to a particular image detail. Serving as an example for the presentation of art were the framed panel pictures of European painting. Since the hanging scroll most closely resembles such panels, it soon became the favoured image format for acts of fragmentation and reassembly.

In the Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection there are numerous examples of mounted fragments of what had originally been horizontal scrolls, fan paintings, and album sheets. Horizontal scrolls in particular were cut apart, with their individual motifs (painting or calligraphy) then mounted onto hanging scrolls. In this new form the works could be shown in other contexts. Economic considerations even played a role in such fragmentation practices, since significantly larger sums could be procured from the divided works. While the subsequent montage served both to protect the fragments and to provide an avenue for presentation, it also offered new aesthetic possibilities in terms of composition. In addition to the traditional mounting styles, a number of collectors each developed, based on the selection of material available for assembling, an individual style according to which the paintings in their collection may be recognised.

The fan paravent reflects a special practice of artistically reinterpreting works of art. In Japan, elaborately painted folding fans were utilitarian objects that were replaced once a year. However, especially lovely and treasured specimens were retained, collected, and sometimes even attached to the panels of folding screens. The resulting arrangements of various styles and subjects were so popular that quite a few painting studios started producing folding screens with fans directly painted onto them. Precisely such a valuable fan paravent is located in the Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection, displaying a variety of combined painting techniques and themes.

Melanie Trede is a professor of Japanese art history at the University of Heidelberg (since 2004). Following her studies in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Tokyo, she taught at Columbia University and in the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her publications include Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (2007/2010), Kunst aus Japan: Die John C. Weber Sammlung, New York (2006), and Image, Text and Audience: The Taishokan Narrative in Visual Representations of the Early Modern Period in Japan (2003).

In parallel to this most recent exhibition in the Japan Room, the museum is presenting “Homage to Marianne Langen” through 17 February 2013. Conceived in commemoration of the 100th birthday of the collector and benefactress Marianne Langen (7.12.1911 – 14.2.2004), it is the first show to provide a comprehensive overview of all facets of the Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection.

Today's News

January 2, 2013

Exhibition brings over 100 paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec to the National Gallery of Australia

Arte Povera: The great awakening of a new art movement in Italy on view at Kunstmuseum Basel

Photo Booth Art: The Aesthetics behind the Curtain, from the Surrealists to Rainer and Warhol at Kunst Haus Wien

Dried squash holds headless French king's blood: study in the journal Forensic Science International

Royal Academy of Arts presents Mariko Mori's first major exhibition in London since 1998

Tate Modern to present the UK's first major exhibition of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi

Exhibition celebrates the postcard craze that revolutioned communication at turn of the 20th century

Philippines set to quit Marcos wealth chase, more than half the supposed $10 billion fortune still missing

Simon Evans & Öyvind Fahlström "First we make the rules, then we break the rules" at Kunsthalle Dusseldorf

Mexico City's government trying to transform one of the world's largest cities by beautifying public spaces

Exhibition at Kunsthalle in Vienna highlights artist Leigh Bowery's life and work

Artifacts recently unearthed appear to pinpoint the location of key Hatfield-McCoy battle

"The Life of Japanese Paintings": Exhibition on view at the Langen Foundation in Neuss

George Eastman House's Dryden Theatre undergoing major renovation

Plan for NYC Ferris wheel rolls on, despite Sandy

World famous milliner offers an unrivaled look at hat design

First New York solo exhibition with artist Marina Zurkow to open at bitforms gallery

French music hall treasures go on sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Galerie Miranda opens exhibition of works by Marina Berio

2.- Restorers unveil original face of Belgium's 'Mystic Lamb'

3.- Classic Beauties unveils the sensual enchantment of Neoclassicism

4.- Exhibition presents a dramatic survey of five hundred years of Spanish painting

5.- Glasgow blaze guts one of world's top art schools - again

6.- The Prado opens the first major monographic exhibition on Lorenzo Lotto's portraits

7.- Cleveland Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

8.- A record setting necklace, diamonds & gemstones propel $1.9 million in jewelry sales at Rago in June

9.- Czech Art Nouveau painter Mucha's masterpiece finds home after 90 years

10.- Exhibition at The Laing Art Gallery explores the garden as a "stage" for the extraordinary

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful