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Cri 9278

Yokoo Tadanori

post Index Artist

Tadanori Yokoo is Japanese stage designer, printmaker, and painter. In 1960 he went to Tokyo and began his career as a stage designer. He was responsible for the design of such avant-garde drama as the Jōkyō Gekijō (Situation Theater) of Jūrō Kara and Tenjō Sajiki (Upper Gallery) of Shūji Terayama. He also produced prints, and in 1967 exhibited works in the Word and Image exhibition at MoMA, New York. Although he used photographs as the basis of his designs, Yokoo’s prints drew upon aspects of traditional Japanese woodcuts that coincided with the style of Pop art, using in particular flat areas of color and overtly sexual subject matter (e.g. X-sex IV, a screenprint from 1968). In addition to his activity as a commercial designer, in the late 1960s he became interested in mysticism and psychedelic art, influenced in particular by travels in India in the 1970s. He produced posters with eclectic imagery similar to that of contemporary psychedelic "underground" magazines. In 1980 he unexpectedly took up painting, prompted by a large-scale travelling exhibition of Picasso’s work that he saw in New York. He painted in an expressionistic, figurative style works that appeared in stage productions for Yukio Mishima and in productions of operas by Richard Wagner.

(Source: Shin’ichiro Osaki for Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press.)