Lecture: Eleanor Heartney: Japanese Art Today: Takashi Murakami and “Superflat” in Context
April 15, 2009

The contemporary Japanese art movement, which the artist Takashi Murakami has labeled “Superflat,” is often seen as an outgrowth of Western Pop Art. While certain qualities of such work deliberately mimic artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Murakami and Superflat emerge from a specifically Japanese context and offer a response to some of the more traumatic aspects of Japanese history and contemporary life. In this lecture, Eleanor Heartney, an independent cultural critic and author, examined the similarities of Superflat to Pop and the ways in which it expresses a uniquely Japanese point of view.

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Eleanor Heartney is a contributing editor to Art in America and Art Press. Her articles regularly appear in Artnews, New Art Examiner, Washington Post, Sculpture, New York Times, and Art Asia Pacific. She authored Art and Today (Phaidon, 2008), Defending Complexity (Hardpress Editions, 2005), Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art (Midmarch Arts Press, 2004), Postmodernism (Tate Gallery and Cambridge University Press, 2001), and Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads (Cambridge University Press, 1997). She co-authored After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art (Prestel, 2007). She was the recipient, in 1992, of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism.