Thursday 17 January, 2019
Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)
About the Talk
As the French theoretician of abstract art Michel Seuphor wrote in 1962, “in the 1960s, every abstract painter is fascinated by the East, dreams of visiting Japan, perhaps to find the delights of Japanese calligraphy.” This talk is dedicated to the artists who launched and fuelled this fascination.
In the early postwar years, avant-garde calligraphers from Japan radically transformed their art with the aim of bringing calligraphy to the same level of recognition as abstract painting. In order to reach this goal, they launched creative collaborations with European Art Informel artists and American Abstract Expressionists, and soon started sharing exhibition spaces with them at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Documenta in Kassel, São Paulo Biennale, and Carnegie International.
This talk will introduce the connection between Japanese avant-garde calligraphers and abstract painters from Europe and the United States as one of the most fascinating examples of the early postwar global art exchanges, drawing attention to calligraphy as a phenomenon of the global postwar avant-garde.
About the Speaker
Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer is Lecturer in Japanese Arts, Culture, and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, which is affiliated to the University of East Anglia.
She is an art historian specialising in modern Japanese art. She received her Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in 2016 and since then held postdoctoral positions at Emory University, Atlanta, GA and Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C. Her research interests include postwar art in Japan; modern calligraphy history in East Asia; transcultural studies; abstract art; and the relationship between image and language in Japanese art. She is currently working on her book manuscript People of the Ink: Japanese Avant-Garde Calligraphers in Postwar Abstract Art.
This event is part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020