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Makoto Saito

Makoto Saito (Japan, 1952)
Makoto Saito, one of the world’s preeminent graphic designers, transformed his career and became an artist five years ago with a solo exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. He had his first American exhibition of paintings at Paul Kasmin Gallery in the fall of 2012. Saito dramatically distorts his subjects? most recently portraits of classic film makers and iconic images from their films?by creating seemingly multi-layered, miniature pools of color that blur the image’s original outline. This ghostly blurring resembles the imprecise way that images are stored and recalled from unconscious memory.

In his interview in the catalogue that accompanied Saito’s exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, the artist said, “I’m going to see things from my own angle, however distorted, and show occasional excerpts along the way. That might mean film clips, but what I’m really seeing are scenes steeped in human social interaction. As I said before, society today constitutes a single thread of digital and natural elements, and I can’t tell which side I’m standing on, back or front. What I’m thinking now is, I would like to express not just the pretty surface of things, but also the internalized ugly parts as well.”

Saito’s work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, The Victoria and Albert Museum, England, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Biography

1977
The 13th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1978
The 12th International Art Exhibition Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1979
The 14th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1980
The 13th International Art Exhibition Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1981
The 15th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1985
The 17th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1986
Japanese Contemporary Artist`s Exhibition, National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi
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The 16th International Art Exhibition Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1987
Icons in Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama.
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The 18th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1989
The Space : Material, Tension, Vacancy in Japanese Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
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The 19th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
1994
Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950, Philadelphia Museum of Art (U.S.A.)/ Centre Pompidou, Musee national d`art moderne (France) / Suntory Museum
1996
Makoto Saito, The Viewpoint of the Modern Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (U.S.A.)
1998
Makoto Saito: Art of the Poster, Huntington Gallery, AIGA Boston, Massachusetts College of Art (U.S.A.)
2003
The Art of Design, Selections from the Permanent Collection of Architecture and Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (U.S.A.)
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Makoto Saito – The Tokio Graphism, Museum fur Kunst und GeWerbe Hamburg (Germany)
2005
The Art of Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (U.S.A.)
2008
MAKOTO SAITO : SCENE [0], 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan)

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTION

  • The Chicago Athenaeum (U.S.A.) Colorado State University (U.S.A.)
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York (U.S.A.)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (U.S.A.)
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (U.S.A.) The Victoria and Albert Museum (U.K.)
  • Brandenbury Museum/Marklsches Museum (Germany) Museum fur kunst und gewerbe Hamburg (Germany)
  • Staatllche Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Munchen (Germany) Museum fur Gestaltung Zurich (Switzerland)
  • Lahtl Art Museum (Finland)
  • Stedelljk Museum (The Netherlands) Muzeum Narodowe Poznan (Poland) Hong Kong Heritage Museum (China)
  • The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Japan)
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama (Japan) Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Japan)