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LACMA presents first solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles of photographer Daido Moriyama
Daido Moriyama, Kagerou (Mayfly), 1972. Gelatin-silver print, 11 x 16. Collection of Gloria Katz and William Huyck.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Fracture: Daido Moriyama, the first solo museum exhibition of photographer Daido Moriyama (b. 1938) to be shown in Los Angeles. Moriyama first came to prominence in the mid-1960s with his gritty depictions of Japanese urban life. His highly innovative and intensely personal photographic approach often incorporates high contrast, graininess, and tilted vantages to convey the fragmentary nature of modern realities. Spanning his early years to present day, the show features nearly fifty works, including a range of Moriyama’s renowned black-and-white photographs, his many important photo books, and the debut of recent color work taken in Tokyo.

“Daido Moriyama’s immensely inventive and prolific achievements make him one of the leading photographers of our era. Inspiring viewers and artists world-wide, Moriyama continues to demonstrate a raw and restless exploration of the fractured realities of modern times, including his most recent color work, appearing for the first time,” observes Edward Robinson, associate curator of LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and curator of the exhibition.

Responding to the rapid changes that transformed post-World War II Japan, Daido Moriyama’s black-and-white works express a fascination with the cultural contradictions of age-old traditions persisting within modern society, along with the effects of westernization and consumerism. Providing a raw, restless vision of city life and the chaos of everyday existence, strange worlds, and unusual characters, Moriyama frequently photographs while on walks through Tokyo — particularly the dark, labyrinthine streets of the Shinjuku district — as well as when traveling on Japan’s postwar highways and during strolls through other urban centers in Japan and abroad. His work suggests the bold intuition informing the artist’s ongoing exploration of urban mystery, memory, and photographic invention.

Fracture: Daido Moriyama displays the artist’s iconic black-and-white photographs, exemplifying the are, bure, boke (grainy, blurry, out-offocus) style, in addition to a new installation of recent color work. An accompanying video features documentary footage of the photographer at work, exploring by foot and responding to the vibrant cityscape of Tokyo. Also on view are a selection of books — Moriyama has published more than forty to date — which highlights the artist’s highly influential experimentation with reproduction media and the transformative possibilities of the printed page.

Born in Ikeda, Osaka, Moriyama trained in graphic design, then took up photography with Takeji Iwaniya, a professional photographer of architecture and crafts. Moving to Tokyo in 1961, he assisted photographer Eikoh Hosoe for three years and became familiar with the trenchant societal critiques produced by photographer Shomei Tomatsu. Moriyama also drew inspiration from William Klein’s confrontational photographs of New York, Andy Warhol’s silkscreened multiples of newspaper images, and the writings of Jack Kerouac and Yukio Mishima.

His work has been collected by numerous public and private collections internationally, including LACMA, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Moriyama has had recent major solo shows at The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, The Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and will be exhibited with William Klein at the Tate Modern this fall.

In May 2012, Moriyama will also receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography, New York, at their 28th Annual Infinity Awards event.

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