Tadanori Yokoo and his graphic works

May 19th, 2010 in Misc

Designers take note: this book is a treasure trove of poster inspiration. Tadanori Yokoo is a master of the format. He got his start working with avant-garde theatre and continued to make some of his strongest work with these collaborators. He has occasionally been called Japan’s Andy Warhol, but I think his work from the same period stands apart. Their interest in process appears similar, using iconic imagery and vivid collages to convey complex or thought provoking ideas. Though, Yokoo’s sensibilities appear to be less concerned with any individual work standing by itself as “artwork”. You really get a sense of this by flipping through the 300 or so pages, each completely filled with solid work. The caption numbers broke 2,000. Prolific is an understatement.

I came across this book by chance while browsing the fine art section of Kagoshima University’s library. At ¥25,000 yen (currently around $280) new, and OOP, this book certainly isn’t cheap nor easy to come by. I was surprised at how nonchalant they were about checking out an art-book like this. I’ve posted images here since most people won’t have access to this otherwise:

Poster for book “The Wonders of Life on Earth”

Poster for Kabuki Play “Chinsetsu Yumihari-zuki” (ちんせつ ゆみはりづき, lit. Crescent Moon Theory) by Yukio Mishima at the National Theatre


Poster for Theatrical Performance “Hangi Daito-kan” by Tatsumi Hijikata

Here are some more spreads of his earlier design and illustrations:

I’ll try to find some more gems on my next visit to the library.

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