Explore a major retrospective of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, featuring a never-before-seen monumental masterpiece!
This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the highly anticipated major retrospective Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, showcasing more than three decades of Murakami's paintings from his earliest mature works - many of which are being shown in North America for the first time - to his most recent, never-before-seen paintings. Across over fifty works, this seminal exhibition of extraordinary, monumental paintings reveals the consistent, universal themes that have guided his work, reflecting his exquisite level of craft and insightful engagement with history. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling
One of the most imaginative artists working today, Murakami has created a colorful cast of characters inspired by folklore, art history, and popular culture, that blurs the boundaries between high and low, ancient and modern, eastern and western. His signature style, which he calls "Superflat," pairs traditional Japanese painting techniques with a contemporary, animé-inspired aesthetic within a flattened picture plane. For this exhibition, Murakami has produced a new group of paintings that are being shown for the first time, including The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, a 114-foot masterwork made up of over 35 panels that surround visitors in the gallery. The title of this work and the exhibition is a Japanese folk saying that hints at the process of rejuvenation. An octopus in distress can chew off a damaged leg to ensure survival, knowing that a new one will grow in its place. Similarly, Murakami often feeds off his own prior imagery, or that of Japanese history, in order for new work to emerge.