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    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Takashi Murakami: Mushrooms
    Fun with fungus

    Japanese painter Takashi Murakami follows up a manga-inspired show with "Mushrooms," happy, trippy, joyful mushrooms — that is, until you arrive at a small side room with a surprise in it.


    Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has a commanding grasp of whimsy. His previous exhibit at this gallery featured balloonlike creatures stylistically inspired by manga and anime. His current show, called "Mushroom," goes for a more traditional two-dimensional format yet is still a visit to the dwelling place of a very fertile imagination.

    Exhibition: Mushrooms.
    Paintings by: Takashi Murakami.

    Related links: Unofficial Takashi Murakami web site | Related site
    Marianne Boesky Gallery 535 W 22nd St. (212) 680-9889 Through April 14, 2001

    In the first large room, canvases are covered in silver-grey hues that serve as backgrounds for organic cartoon creatures: wild mushrooms that look like something cooked up on the sly at the Sanrio laboratory. They're cute and childlike but have an air of subversion to them (one could only imagine what you'd see if you dared to ingest one). One group of canvases that covers an entire wall, mural-like, features a giant mushroom with dozens of eyes surrounded by groups of similar Liliputian technicolor fungi. These mushrooms are just screaming to be put on a T-shirt or backpack. On an opposite wall is another silver-grey canvas but this one has winding vines on which have grown multicolor flowers with extremely happy faces. The patterns formed by these flowers echo textile design.

    In contrast to the happy happy joy joy aura of these paintings, a small room has two canvases, one red and one blue, serving as backdrops to shadowy skeletal forms, perhaps hinting that there is a dark side to all the merriment present in the mushroom and flower images. They suggest that other kind of mushroom — the mushroom cloud, one of the most horrifying symbols to the Japanese.

    Near the entrance is a room where diagrams of the paintings are on the wall and there are comfy white couches for taking a breather from all the psychedelia.

    APRIL 13, 2001

    Reader comments on Takashi Murakami: Mushrooms:

  • love it all   from louise bishop, Jul 5, 2001
  • Murakami   from kimiko, Jul 30, 2001
  • Re: Murakami   from rzaba, Dec 16, 2002
  • internet   from Martinez Raquel, Nov 19, 2001
  • Takashi Murakami   from MaxHMaxy, Nov 15, 2002
  • total class   from Demon_Vegeta_669, Jan 9, 2003
  • Takashi Murakami   from rachel, Jan 31, 2003
  • I want a print!   from Amanda Hartley, Mar 1, 2003
  • Murakami's stuff for sale   from Adrian, Mar 11, 2003
  • Re: I want a print!   from Scott B. Grover, Apr 3, 2003
  • Re: I want a print!   from neil, Apr 20, 2004
  • Murakami is a talentless, overrated hack   from Takashi Murakami, May 13, 2003
  • Re: Murakami is not a talentless, overrated hack   from mike hart, May 14, 2003
  • Re: Murakami is a talentless, overrated hack   from wilbur, Mar 17, 2009
  • commentary   from jan rose, Sep 7, 2003
  • SuperNova image   from john goldman, May 24, 2004
  • Re: SuperNova image   from Ben Frey, Aug 17, 2004

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