The 1 Must See Art Event In New York This Week: Meet the Creator of Naoshima Art Site

Visionary but reclusive billionaire Soichiro Fukutake speaks at Japan Society.


We’re all too busy during the week to do all the great things we plan and hope to do. So if you can only commit to one arty event this week, here’s what you should not miss!


The Naoshima Symbiosis for the Future: Art, Architecture, and Nature 

At the Japan Society’s symposium on Benesse Art Site Naoshima, project founder Soichiro Fukutake will address the history and philosophy of this unique venture.

In the late 1980s, Fukutake, the billionaire president of Benesse Corporation (then called Fukutake Publishing), told the architect Tadao Ando of his idea to build a paradise on the economically ravaged islands of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan that would showcase artwork from the world’s most renowned artists. The architect replied that that was impossible. Today, Benesse Art Site Naoshima is a thriving arts destination where architecture and art come together in the natural setting of the Seto Inland Sea (and for which Ando has designed several structures). The foundation provides artists and architects with the opportunity to platform their work at various surrounding islands: Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima. The mantra espoused in this conglomerate is Benesse, or Living Well. The group aims to build a symbiotic relationship between art and the region in order to contribute to the local community.

At the symposium, curator Akiko Miki will introduce the panel which includes a discussion moderated by Eve Blau, Professor of the History of Urban Form at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Architects Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, and Hiroshi Sambuichi will also showcase their special renderings. A reception will follow.

General tickets are $25. Japan Society members, students, and senior tickets are $20.
The Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, 6 PM. 


For the brave of heart, here are a few other exciting happenings around town:

John Giorno’s “Space Forgets You” opens at Elizabeth Dee Gallery 
New paintings and works on paper by the poet and performance artist go on view.
Elizabeth Dee Gallery, 545 West 20th Street, Thursday, April 2, 6-8 PM. 

Etel Adnan opens at Galerie Lelong
The gallery presents its first solo exhibition by the Lebanese artist. Adnan’s vibrant and expressive paintings are accompanied by a film shot by the artist.
Galerie Lelong, 528 West 26th Street, Thursday, April 2, 6-8 PM.

Sigmar Polke “Silver Paintings” opens at Michael Werner Gallery 
This is the first time since 1990 that the Silver Paintings have been exhibited. Don’t miss this rarely-seen body of work by one of the most influential artists of the post-war period.
Michael Werner Gallery, 4 East 77th street, Thursday, April 2. 

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