Since it opened on September 6, 2002, the Pola Museum of Art has displayed works from a collection amassed over 40 years by Suzuki Tsuneshi (1930-2000), the second-generation head of the Pola corporation. With this collection as a foundation, we have presented a wide range of special exhibitions over the years.
On the occasion of the museum’s tenth anniversary in 2012, we took various steps to expand our activities such as creating a forest promenade called the Nature Trail, which is open to the public, installing sculptures outdoors, adding a contemporary art gallery, offering interactive exhibits, and implementing learning programs.
In recent years, we have added to the existing collection by acquiring important works that trace the development of art from the 20th century to the present day. The current exhibition marks the first opportunity to exhibit the collection amassed by Suzuki Tsuneshi and works that were newly acquired in recent years side by side.
In planning this exhibition, “light” served as a primary theme. Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet pursued the expression of constantly changing light, while a strong concern with light can also be seen in the works of contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter and Cerith Wyn Evans. In this exhibition, we are proud to present the current state of the Pola Museum of Art collection, and to explore the museum’s future and the collection’s possibilities.
Suzuki Tsuneshi’s collection concentrated primarily on 19th- and 20th-century modern painting from the West and Japan. While enriching the existing collection, our newly acquired works are Japanese and Western paintings that form a link between the modern and the contemporary era, and works by artists of the same eras who were not previously represented in the museum. The majority of these are being displayed here for the first time.
The exhibition consists of two sections. The first combines works from Suzuki Tsuneshi’s collection with newly acquired items, while the second introduces works by artists that form a link between the modern and contemporary eras. The second section in particular includes a large number of works by artists who were not previously represented in the collection. The content lucidly conveys the new direction of the collection.
To enable visitors to see as many works as possible from the original collection as well as the newly acquired works, the exhibition will be presented throughout the museum, including the five main galleries, the Atrium Gallery (which was added in 2017 to display contemporary art), the lobby, and the Nature Trail. This massive undertaking marks the largest exhibition ever held at the Pola Museum of Art.
At the Pola Museum of Art, founded on the basis of a symbiosis between Hakone’s natural beauty and art, light has been a crucial factor in the architecture, lighting design, and acquisition of new works. In this exhibition, we introduce a wide range of works dealing with light, dating from the 19th century to the contemporary era, beginning with Impressionist painters like Monet and Renoir, who set out to capture the constantly changing light in their works, and extending to Gerhard Richter, who has consistently focused on Schein (German for “light” or “phantom image”), Sugimoto Hiroshi, who has attempted to capture the color of light in his photographs, and Cerith Wyn Evans, who works with neon tubes.
03 Exhibition Structure
In the first section of the exhibition, we introduce works from Suzuki Tsuneshi’s original collection alongside new acquisitions, designed to enrich the museum’s holdings, in an arrangement based on theme, period, and artist. For example, Suzuki’s collection, which centers on Impressionist painting, is divided into themes such as portraits of women (by Renoir, Léger, Robert Delaunay, etc.) waterside landscapes (by Monet, Nicolas de Staël, etc.), still lifes (by Cézanne, Ben Nicholson, etc.), and Matisse and Fauvism.
In the displays devoted to Japanese Western-style painting from the modern era, the works are arranged according to period, school, and artist. For example, Western-style painting of the Taisho Period (Kishida Ryusei, Murayama Kaita, and Sekine Shoji), Japanese Fauvists (Satomi Katsuzo, Saeki Yuzo, etc.), and individual artists such as Leonard Foujita (Fujita Tsuguharu), Matsumoto Shunsuke, and Sakamoto Hanjiro.
In the second section, we introduce works by artists, who form a bridge the modern and contemporary eras but were not part of the original collection. Of particular note are Japanese abstract painters from the postwar period such as Yamaguchi Takeo, Yamada Masaaki, and Inokuma Genichiro, painters who explored materiality such as Jean Dubuffet, Saito Yoshishige, Shiraga Kazuo, and Nakanishi Natsuyuki, and Western abstract painters such as Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, and Gerhard Richter.
In addition, we present some of the museum’s latest acquisitions by a variety of other artists who remain active today such as Anish Kapoor, Nakabayashi Tadayoshi, Sugimoto Hiroshi, Mishima Kimiyo, Cerith Wyn Evans, Roni Horn, and Susan Philipsz.
Details on related programs will be announced on the exhibition website as they become available.
From Monet to Richter: Focus on New Acquisitions― Pola Museum of Art 20th Anniversary Exhibition
April 9 to Tue., Sept. 6, 2022
Pola Museum of Art (Galleries 1 to 5, Atrium Gallery, atrium lobby, and the Nature Trail)
Organized by the Pola Art Foundation and the Pola Museum of Art
- Section 1: The Museum Collection and New Acquisitions Including works by the following artists
Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Robert Delaunay, Nicolas de Staël, Fernand Léger, Ben Nicholson, Henri Matisse, Leonard Foujita (Fujita Tsuguharu), Sekine Shoji, Matsumoto Shunsuke, and Satomi Katsuzo
- Section 2: New Acquisitions Including works by the following artists
Vilhelm Hammershøi, Jean Dubuffet, Morris Louis, Donald Judd, Helen Frankenthaler, Pat Steir, Gerhard Richter, Anish Kapoor, Cerith Wyn Evans, Roni Horn, Susan Philipsz, Yamaguchi Takeo, Yamada Masaaki, Nambata Tatsuoki, Inokuma Genichiro, Saito Yoshishige, Shiraga Kazuo, Lee Ufan, Tanaka Atsuko, Nakanishi Natsuyuki, Nakabayashi Tadayoshi, Sugimoto Hiroshi, and Mishima Kimiyo