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Exhibition of new and classic photographs by Daido Moriyama opens at Steven Kasher Gallery
Japan's Scenic Trio, Mutsumatsushima, 1974. Photo: Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- Steven Kasher Gallery presents an exhibition of new and classic photographs by Japan’s most important photographer, Daido Moriyama. This is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Moriyama’s work ever mounted in an American art gallery. Entitled Daido Moriyama: Now and Now, the installation, designed by Moriyama, has three sections. The front gallery will show panoramas in color and black and white, each containing 14 linked pictures that Moriyama has selected and sequenced from the Record series of publications (1972-ongoing). The middle gallery will feature large silkscreen-on-canvas prints created in 2007. The back gallery will present key iconic images. The photographs were taken in Tokyo, New York, Paris, Italy, and beyond, using both film and digital cameras. This is Steven Kasher Gallery’s second exhibition of Moriyama’s work.

Moriyama’s output since 1968 is legendary. He has produced over 150 books of his own photographs. His fan base is legion, and he has influenced several generations of photographers in Japan and abroad. He is as artistically potent now at the age of 75 as he was when his work began to make waves in late 1960s. His diaristic, rapid-fire, made-for quick-publication work seems particularly pertinent today in our era of social-network photography.

Moriyama has had over 100 solo exhibitions worldwide. At MoMA he was a central figure in the groundbreaking 1974 New Japanese Photography, and is a key figure in the current exhibition Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde. In 1999 SFMoMA organized and exhibited the retrospective Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog, which was also shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Japan Society in New York (jointly). In 2012, LACMA mounted Fracture: Daido Moriyama and the Tate Modern devoted its first ever retrospective of a photographer to Moriyama (along with a concurrent retrospective of William Klein).

“The crushing force of time is before my eyes, and I myself try to keep pressing the shutter release of the camera. In this inevitable race between the two of us, I feel I am going to be burnt up.” – Daido Moriyama

Daido Moriyama was born in 1938 along with a twin brother, who died when Daido was two. In his mid-twenties, working as a photography assistant, Moriyama encountered Kerouac’s On the Road. Moriyama cites Warhol and Weegee as primary influences, as well as William Klein and Atget. Moriyama first came to prominence in the mid-1960s with his gritty depictions of Japanese urban life. His highly innovative and intensely personal approach incorporates high contrast, graininess, and tilted vantages to convey the fragmentary nature of modern realities. Moriyama’s images convey the artist’s boldly intuitive exploration of urban mystery, memory, and photographic invention. Moriyama’s work immerses us in the melancholic beauty of life at its most ordinary.

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