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27.10.2017 – 18.02.2018 Nuremberg

Ikko Tanaka

Posters from Japan
View of the exhibition, Ikko Tanaka. Posters from Japan, Neues Museum Nuremberg, 2017.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (C. Roesner)

About the Exhibition

Ikko Tanaka (1930-2002) is still considered one of Japan’s most influential graphic designers. He founded his studio in Tokyo in 1963 and a year later he took part in documenta 3.

His diverse oeuvre ranges from book designs and typographic experiments via art direction for companies like Seibu, Mazda and Shiseido, to logos and exhibition designs, through to the concept for no-name design store Muji. Outside Japan, he is best know for his posters, designed for theater and dance productions, exhibitions and other cultural events, social and environmental issues, but also for font foundries and fashion designers. The selection draws a distilled picture of the manifold aspects in Ikko Tanaka’s poster oeuvre.

His style can be described as forceful and clear, expressive and harmonious, boldly abstract and sublime, deceptively simple. A fresh take on Japanese aesthetics is clearly identifiable, as are western sources of inspiration, including the Bauhaus. East meets West, as one of his books about Issey Miyake was titled, also applied to the activities of Ikko Tanaka, who always saw himself as a mediator between Japanese culture and the West.

Posters in the exhibition

Ikko Tanaka, poster, Nihon Buyo, 1981, offset, in the exhibition, Ikko Tanaka. Posters from Japan, Neues Museum Nuremberg, 2017.
© Ikko Tanaka 1981 / licensed by DNPartcom. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)
Ikko Tanaka, poster, The Discovery of the Kabuki Theater, 1974, silkscreen, in the exhibition, Ikko Tanaka. Posters from Japan, Neues Museum Nuremberg, 2017.
© Ikko Tanaka 1974 / licensed by DNPartcom. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)
Ikko Tanaka, poster, Hiroshima Appeals, 1988, offset, in the exhibition, Ikko Tanaka. Posters from Japan, Neues Museum Nuremberg, 2017.
© Ikko Tanaka 1988 / licensed by DNPartcom. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)

Curated by:

Corinna Rösner

Co-operation:

Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum
Neues Museum Nuremberg