Japan 1936 – United States of America 2010

Arakawa, also known by his full name Shusaku Arakawa, was born in Nagoya, Japan, on 6 July 1936. He studied medicine and mathematics at Tokyo University from1954 to 1958. In that year he began to submit paintings to the Yomiuri Independent exhibitions and in 1961 held his first solo exhibition at Mudo Gallery, Tokyo. He then moved to New York. Throughout the 1960s he held a number of solo exhibitions at Dwan Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, at Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, and Galleria Schwartz, Milan. In 1966 he was given his first museum exhibition at the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and in 1970 Arakawa represented Japan at the Venice Biennale. During the 1970s museums featured his work throughout Europe and the United States and in 1981 a large retrospective was organised by the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. With his wife, the poet Madeline H. Gins, Arakawa has published books which parallel the preoccupations of his paintings, notably The Mechanism of Meaning 1979. In 1991 a retrospective was organised by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Arakawa and Gins increasingly concentrate on collaborative installation pieces and architectural design, such as their Utopian city, Reversible destiny, seen at the Guggenheim Soho in 1997. Arakawa died in New York City on 18 May 2010.

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Arakawa Tubes 1965 © Estate of Madeline Gins Purchased 1978 Learn more