Tadanori Yokoo
Vintage Silkscreen Posters 1965-1978


September 5 - October 4, 2003

Andrew Roth is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of rare, vintage silkscreen posters from 1965-1978 by Tadanori Yokoo, the internationally acclaimed Japanese graphic artist. They are being shown here for the first time since his one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972.

In 1965, Tadanori Yokoo was invited to participate in a group exhibition of 16 graphic artists at the Matsuya Department Store in Tokyo. For the “Persona Exhibition” he produced his first and signature silkscreen poster: Made in Japan: Tadanori Yokoo. Having reached a climax at the age of 29, I was dead. He portrays himself hanging from a rope in a black suit and dress shoes, clutching a red rose in his hand. The vibrant backdrop of red and blue rays from the rising sun mimics the stripes from the old Japanese flag and also references the Asahi Breweries Trademark. The “climax” poster is a symbolic rendition of Yokoo’s break with his modernist style being reborn into the imagery of Pop culture.

Whether designing an advertisement for a movie, a book, a play, a whisky, or a printing company, Yokoo integrates a highly personal, innovative style into his commercial work. Appropriating images from classic Japanese woodblock prints (Hokusai’s waves, sword-bearing Samurai, women in traditional kimono) he juxtaposes them with Far-eastern, Christian, modernist, psychedelic, and popular iconography to produce a hybrid collage of influences.

Yokoo was first introduced to the West in the seminal Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Word and Image” in 1968. In fact, he designed the poster for the show, winning out in competition over Peter Max. Throughout his prolific career, Yokoo has exhibited extensively, and has been celebrated as an actor, book designer, painter, photographer, stage designer, and graphic artist. He was recently inducted into the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame in New York. This is his second show at Andrew Roth. His first, “Photo-Collages from the ’60s,” was in November 2001.