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Event Report
No.059
A New Art Hub The Artizon Museum

2020/10/07

The Artizon Museum, exterior (Photo courtesy of the Artizon Museum)
The Artizon Museum, exterior (Photo courtesy of the Artizon Museum)

On January 18, 2020, a new art hub called Artizon Museum opened doors in Kyobashi, an area bustling with office worker. It inherits the Ishibashi Foundation collection owned by its predecessor, the Bridgestone Museum of Art, which for more than 65 years welcomed visitors at the same location, as well as its activities, and at the same time raises intriguing possibilities for new museum modalities and innovative ways to showcase art under the concept “Experiencing Creativity.” The present article outlines these initiatives and reports on the contemporary art events and collection exhibitions held at the museum from June 23 (Tuesday) through October 25 (Sunday).

Expanding the horizons of art and culture

From its inception, the newly-established Artizon Museum inherited the prime location of its predecessor, the Bridgestone Museum of Art, in a first-class district in Kyobashi, and the museum’s collections beloved by art connoisseurs for the diverse selection of impressionist artworks and Japanese contemporary Western-style art. The name of the Artizon Museum is a combination the words “Art” and “Horizon.”
The museum occupies the lower levels of the 23-storey Museum Tower Kyobashi. Floors 1 through 3 host the museum cafe and shop, and the galleries are located on floors 4 through 6. The Artizon Museum is engaged in cutting-edge initiatives to digitalize art and information, and provides a variety of IT-powered services.

An even richer collection that transcends ages and countries

“Women Impressionists” and “Special Section New Acquisitions: The Paul Klee Collection,” two events that put the spotlight on newly-acquired pieces, are held in the 4F Gallery concurrently with the planned exhibition.
The original collection of the Ishibashi Foundation was distinguished by its broad scope. During the five-year period from 2015, when the Bridgestone Museum of Art closed its doors, until the opening of the Artizon Museum, approximately 184 paintings and sculptures (as of the end of September 2019), including works by Australian artists, as well as Japanese modern and contemporary art pieces, were newly added to the collection together with about 1,200 vintage photographic portraits of artists. Through these efforts, the collection expanded further in scope and diversity, reaching a total of approximately 2,800 works.

Enjoying a full-body experience of artists’ creativity

The 6F Gallery hosts “Jam Sessions,” a collaborative project in which works from the Ishibashi Foundation Collection are exhibited together with works by contemporary artists. These joint showings will be held once a year, starting in 2020. The first “Jam Session” presents Tomoko Konoike, whose singing voice accompanied by animal-like cries flows from the visual works dispersed throughout the sparsely lit gallery. The venue also features an exhibition of 19th century paintings by French artists from the Ishibashi Foundation Collection.
The 5F Gallery presents “Exhibition in Japan of the Japan Pavilion at the 58th International Exhibition-La Biennale di Venezia ‘Cosmo-Eggs’.” The pieces in this installation were created through collaboration among artists from different fields. The starting point of the project was a series of photographs taken by artist Motoyuki Shitamichi of boulders washed ashore from the bottom of the ocean by a huge tsunami.
Based in Kyobashi, the Artizon Museum spreads out the appeal of its rich collection to a diverse audience, and reveals new worlds through the magic of art. We will definitely see growth in expectations for the museum’s future efforts to expand art horizons and boost the diversity of the Kyobashi area through art and culture.

The first floor. The selection of different materials—granite for the walls and artificial marble for the floor—in harmonious colors creates an elegant ambience. The original sign system features ultra-thin slit lights that employ LEDs, lending a gentle touch to the interior.
The first floor. The selection of different materials—granite for the walls and artificial marble for the floor—in harmonious colors creates an elegant ambience. The original sign system features ultra-thin slit lights that employ LEDs, lending a gentle touch to the interior.
The exhibition “Women Impressionists” also features works of related artists, such as Berthe Morisot’s teacher and brother-in-law, Edouard Manet, and Marie Bracquemond’s husband, painter and etcher Félix Bracquemond.
The exhibition “Women Impressionists” also features works of related artists, such as Berthe Morisot’s teacher and brother-in-law, Edouard Manet, and Marie Bracquemond’s husband, painter and etcher Félix Bracquemond.
“Special Section New Acquisitions: The Paul Klee Collection.” The exhibit fascinates the audience with the diversity of motifs, from geometrical shapes and symbols to human figures, and the rich palette that includes both dark tones and gentle pastel colors.
“Special Section New Acquisitions: The Paul Klee Collection.” The exhibit fascinates the audience with the diversity of motifs, from geometrical shapes and symbols to human figures, and the rich palette that includes both dark tones and gentle pastel colors.
The exhibition FLIP by Tomoko Konoike, presented as part of the Jam Session
The exhibition FLIP by Tomoko Konoike, presented as part of the Jam Session
The installation recreates the layout of the Japan Pavilion and its floor pattern.
The installation recreates the layout of the Japan Pavilion and its floor pattern.

Japanese original text: Yasuna Asano
Photo: Shu Nakagawa

Artizon Museum

Adress: 1-7-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (last entry 17:30)
Closed: Mondays (if a national holiday falls on Monday, the museum is open on Monday and is closed on the next workday), for changing of exhibitions, and the year-end through New Year’s holidays
https://www.artizon.museum/en/