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New Yorkers in Tokyo: The Neo-Dada Nexus

The 1960s was a decade of stimulating exchange between artists working in New York and Tokyo. As the trauma of World War II gradually faded in Japan, artists’ collectives were established there and thrived. Starting in the late 1950s, many Japanese artists and critics began heading to New York as well as returning home from sojourns abroad. Starting in 1962, New York artists who had developed...

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Of Stone and Sand: John Cage and David Tudor in Japan, 1962

John Cage and David Tudor visited Japan in October 1962 at the invitation of the Sogetsu Art Center (SAC). Over the course of the month they gave seven concerts in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and...

Lost in Translation? “Twenty Questions to Bob Rauschenberg”

Was Robert Rauschenberg’s 1964 visit to Tokyo a case of cultural exchange or of cross-cultural discommunication? The question is central to this account of Gold Standard, a “combine” that...

Shinohara Ushio’s Dialogue with American Art: From Imitation Art to Pop Ukiyo-e

“American art that lost its glory” was the way Shinohara Ushio summed up Twenty Years of American Painting, an exhibition sent to Tokyo by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1966. Just two years...
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The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Last Stop in Tokyo, 1964

A close examination of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC)'s 1964 stop in Tokyo allows for a better understanding of how mutually significant this encounter was for the Japanese avant-garde...
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Tokyo Memories of Rauschenberg

These two texts, one by a well-known artist, the other by an eminent critic—both Tokyoites—, first appeared in Japanese in 1963 and 1968, respectively. Each provides a colorful account of...
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Graphic Scores: Tokyo, 1962

Graphic scores tend to have multiple identities. Simultaneously, they can be design objects, artworks, and documents silently encoded with music whose future performance can depend, at least to...