Benesse Museum collection

Benesse House on Naoshima doesn’t allow photos of their modern art collection, so here is a selection of works I like by some artists I saw there. I though the space of the museum was wonderful, but the fact that there was no information about the artworks was a letdown. If you didn’t know much about modern art already, you might not have got much out of the visit, which is a bad thing for a museum, seeing as one of the main reasons to go is to learn new things.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat was a rags-to-riches super-star in 80s New York, (including dating Madonna) until he sadly died of a heroin overdose. His paintings are definitely even better appreciated in real life than in photographs. They’re absolutely huge, and have all kinds of layers, different texture and hidden tiny images and texts hidden in them when seen in person.

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly also makes huge canvases, but is instead the world’s premium scribbler. It’s definitely the kind of modern art that people scoff at and claim they could do themselves in five minutes (but never actually do). Some of his works are huge surfaces covered in hundreds of tiny scribbles, but the essential thing is that he makes exactly the right scribbles that are expressive but also somehow soothing to the eye, which is far harder than it looks.

Yves Klein

Yves Klein invented and patented his own specific colour of blue, which was then used on his own artworks, and as part of collections recolouring famous objects.

Richard Long

Richard Long makes work related to walking and journeys in the landscapes.

Shigeo Anzai

Japanese photographer Anzai specialises in portraits and documentary work of other artists at work, and also works in a genre called Mono-Ha, where the artist creates epehemeral juxtapositions of natural and industrial objects.

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