Kudo’s Laboratory of Art

Human brains, torn-off penises and radioactive flowers put together in art tableaux. The Japanese-born Parisian artist Tetsumi Kudo pre-empted today's climate debate in the 1960s and 1970s. We now have one of his quirky and alluring works up for auction.

"A bonsai grower with a passion for social issues." This description comes from an article in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen about Louisiana's fascinating exhibition "Cultivation" about Tetsumi Kudo (1935-1990). Included in the exhibition was the work "Cultivation of Nature & People Who Are Looking at it" from 1970, and this work will now be part of our Live Auction in Copenhagen on Wednesday 10 March at 4 pm. One thing is for sure – Kudo's art is never boring! In the offered work, he has filled a blue plastic bucket with a modelled material and added human hair and coloured needles in an at once shrill and humorous doomsday scenario.

A Prescient Voice from the Past

The great societal challenges were the focal point for Kudo, and he stands as a visionary and almost prophetic artist who during the 1960s and 70s spoke directly on what has become today's political debates about climate and the environment. Therefore, he is more relevant today than ever before in his focus on how humans have affected nature and the climate in destructive ways. Growing up in post-war Japan and in the shadow of the catastrophic consequences of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, his preoccupation with the climate and the devastating forces of man can come as no surprise.

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A Horror Show and Visions of the Future

Kudo leads us into a kind of horror show of waste, pollution and torn-off human limbs. In his art tableaux and birdcages, he combines objects that have nothing to do with each other directly in a highly toxic cocktail. The combination creates associations to a world in environmental decay, and his art thereby becomes a mirror of our present. At the same time, he shows us a way out of the disaster with his absurd sculptures that also appear as life-sustaining systems of growth with flowers and other budding elements of nature. With Kudo, fortunately, there is hope for humanity, and in 1971 he wrote a manifesto entitled "Pollution – Cultivation – New Ecology", which describes the development process that we must go through to achieve a world in greater balance.


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Live Auction

Modern Art

10 March at 4 pm


For further information, please contact: 

Niels Raben: +45 8818 1181 · nr@bruun-rasmussen.dk

Niels Boe-Hauggaard: +45 8818 1182 · nbh@bruun-rasmussen.dk

Kathrine Eriksen: +45 8818 1184 · ke@bruun-rasmussen.dk