Vintage Photographs 1935-1955

February 15 - March 18, 2006

Kansuke Yamamoto (1914-1987) was a seminal experimental photographer, poet and member of the Japanese avant-garde who was active in Japan from 1931 until 1987. A true hidden treasure in the world of photography, this is the first time a large presentation of his work will be exhibited in the United States.
Yamamoto’s highly aesthetic imagery can be seen as a Japanese interpretation of the language of European surrealism with many works in dialogue with artists such as Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miro, Man Ray, Rene Magritte, and Jean Arp. Yamamoto published over a 40-year span in avant-garde journals with limited circulation in Japan, and the strangeness and transgressive nature of his imagery was considered threatening, inviting persecution of the artist by the Tokko (Thought Police).

The definitive retrospective of his work was held in 2001 at the museum Tokyo Station Gallery. In the words of internationally-acclaimed photographer Hosoe Eikoh, “Until the TSG exhibit, no one had seen more than 20 of Kansuke’s photographs at any one time. The retrospective of 400 photos created a sensation in the Japanese photographic world.”