Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Artforum on Takashi Murakami and the Art of Business CMU Pittsburgh Wed April 23, 2008

COMPANY MAN: TAKASHI MURAKAMI AND THE ART OF 'BUSINESS ART' Scott Rothkopf Senior Editor Artforum International Wednesday, April 23 at 6-7:30pm in Kresge Hall (CFA) CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (Oakland)


Delegation, agency, team production, monitoring, group entrepreneurship tic invention? "Business art is the step that comes after Art," Andy Warhol famously opined in 1975. Yet despite the recent explosion of the international art market and the crossover superstardom of figures such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, perhaps only one artist has truly taken Warhol at his word: Takashi Murakami.

This lecture will explore Murakami's far-flung "business art" endeavors and their relationship to his painting and sculpture, within the context of precedents including Dalí, Warhol, and Haring. A household name in his native Japan, Murakami (b. 1963) first gained international celebrity in 2002 with his series of Louis Vuitton handbags, which grossed more than three-hundred million dollars in their first year of sales alone. Although this corporate collaboration may be his most well-known foray into the world of commerce, it is but one point in a constellation of activities that dwarfs his gallery-bound paintings and sculpture in administrative scope and market reach.

In addition to churning out finely crafted artworks coveted by collectors, he is busy producing related mass-market merchandise; running his own art fair; managing the careers of young Japanese artists; planning group exhibitions; hosting a radio show; and pursuing commercial "collaborations" in the form of advertising and branding projects with the likes of rapper Kanye West Scott Rothkopf is a senior editor of Artforum, as well as an arthistorian and critic. He has been a guest curator at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, where he most recently co-organized "This Is Not a Time for Dreaming" (2004), a site-specific installation and film by the French artist Pierre Huyghe made in response to Le Corbusier's only North American building, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. At the Fogg, he was also curator and catalogue author for the exhibition "Mel Bochner Photographs 1966¬1969" (2002), which traveled to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

As a frequent contributor to Artforum, Rothkopf has written on major exhibitions, including the Venice and Whitney biennials, and on artists such asJeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Sol LeWitt, Diller+Scofidio, Carroll Dunham, Josiah McElheny, T. J. Willcox, and Karen Kilimnik, who was the subject of his 2007 book, Period Eye: Karen Kilimnik's Fancy Pictures, co-authored with Meredith Martin. His other museum and gallery catalogue contributions include monographic essays on Wade Guyton, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Kelley Walker, and Terry Winters, as well as text on Takashi Murakami for his current traveling retrospective, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Rothkopf has chaired public panels, including "Photography and Conceptual Art" with Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, and Jan Dibbets, and "Transatlantic," a College Art Association session devoted to the interchange between American and European artists in the 1960s and'70s. His essay on Surrealism in American art of the 1960s appeared in 2005 in the catalogue of "Surrealism USA," organized by the National Academy Museum, and a book length version of this text is currently under contract with Yale University Press.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, The School of Art, and the New Minor in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development. Contact person: Melissa Ragona, Assistant Professor of Art, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, mragona@andrew.cmu.edu Tel: (412) 779-9257

Outside/In Pittsburgh Link to CMU here .


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