Artist | Kazuo Katase (*1947)

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Artist Portfolio Catalogue Overview \ 11

    • Kazuo Katase

      Ohne Titel1980
    • Kazuo Katase

    • Kazuo Katase

      Positivraum - Negativraum1981
    • Kazuo Katase

    • Kazuo Katase

      Fisch + Schiff - leer + mehr1985
    • Kazuo Katase

    • Kazuo Katase

      Trink eine Tasse Tee1987
    • Kazuo Katase

    • Kazuo Katase

      Untitled (Pocket Light) / Blinde Kuh1996
    • Kazuo Katase

      Untitled (Mountain) / Wind House1996
    • Kazuo Katase

      Might (Wax Swing) / Untitled (Amazonas)1996



1947 geboren in Shizuoka, Japan
Lebt in Kassel

About the work (english)

About the work (english)

Entering the expansive hall of the Galerie Friebe, one's gaze falls on a color photo with an unusual view of Fujiyama - only the slope is seen slicing diagonally across the surface of the picture. Between wisps of fog, two tiny figures, seemingly lost in the vastness of nature, stand out against the light from beyond the horizon. It is no accident that one is reminded of the picture "Mönch am Meer" (Monk by the Sea) by the greatest German Romantic painter, Caspar David Friedrich. Here, too, man's forlornness in the face of raw nature is shown. But the Japanese artist Kazuo Katase adds to his photo of Fuji by placing an unmistakable metaphor for shelter and security on the floor in front of it - a tiny cabin, leaning in an echo of the diagonal in the photo, but made of marble and thus emphatically symbolizing the worth of a house.

Other works, photographs with accompanying objects, also work with this reversal of appearances. A photo of a large truck densely packed with people is confronted with a mirror image of the word "Macht (Might)" on the wax seat of a swing. Does this have to do with deportation? Not at all. The photo shows a carnival float in Rio.

Katase intensifies these reversals of meaning with a special technique by means of which his photographs remain as negatives, as in "Blinde Kuh", a photo of an alabaster figurine, presented in an illuminated case. (Translator's note: "Blinde Kuh" is literally "blind cow" and is the German name of the game known in English as "Blindman's Buff".) A child is playfully searching as if looking inward, blindfolded and with outstretched arms. It is the symbolic figure of the artist, alone on a spiritual search for meaning.

Kazuo Katase came to Germany in 1975 at age 28 on the invitation of the Graphics Workshop of the Municipal Gallery of Wolfsburg. This change of countries brought him closer to the objects of his inquisitive longings: Western art forms, literature, intellectual history. He studied primarily German Romanticism, which deeply impressed him, for example, in the writings of Novalis and the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. But when he saw Japan again briefly in 1978, he realized that his roots were there. He was confronted with the question of his own identity. The search for his own spiritual sources led him to the writings of the Japanese Zen Master Suzuki, which opened Zen-Buddhism to him.

Today the art of Katase is a synthesis of Western and Eastern thought. As one on the border between two cultures, he can filter out the essence of both. Western are the many forms and colors, for example the alabaster figurine or the often-used color blue that played such an important role in Romanticism. (He has illuminated entire rooms with blue light, as in the impressive installation "Gefangener Schatten [Captured Shadows]", 1995 in Schloß Rastatt). Rooted in Eastern thinking are the meanings of his works, the visualized recognition of the duality of being, of becoming and ceasing, light and shadow, joy and pain, Yin and Yang. "I want to find myself in opposites," Katase explained in 1992 in an interview about his work at the documenta 9 in Kassel.

That there is a great deal of interest in the art of Kazuo Katase is demonstrated by the enormous response to the beautiful one-man-show in the Galerie Friebe, which follows the gallery's successful presentation of the artist at the last Art Cologne.

Text by Britta Hueck-Ehmer; in: Atelier, No. 827, May/June 1996, page 44 - 47 (Atelier Publishing Co., Ltd, Tokyo)

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

1973 Tamura Gallery, Tokio: Sehbild 1973, Installation
1974 Muramatsu Gallery, Tokio: Sehbild 1974, Installation
1975 Städtische Galerie, Schloß Wolfsburg: Sehbilder (Katalog)
1977 Art 8' Basel, Fotoforum Kassel: Sehschule/Performance II
1978 Kunstverein Kassel: Sehschule, Installation/Performance VI (Katalog)
1979 Gründung des Aktionscenter Kassel. Kassel: Körper = Lebensraum, Performance (Film)
1980 Harlekin Art, Wiesbaden: Die Leiter, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1981 Kulturpreis der Stadt Wilhelmshaven (Katalog)
1982 Städtisches Museum Göttingen: Objekt - Räume (Katalog)
1983 Kunstverein Heidelberg: zeICHensetzung, Rauminstallation/Performance (Katalog)
1985 Kunstforum, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München: Fisch + Schiff - leer + mehr, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1986 Wewerka Galerie, Berlin: Mutter, Rauminstallation
Galerie Juana Mordó, Madrid: Schwarzer Mond und Weißer Stier (Katalog)
1988 Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf: Windstille, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Kunstverein Kassel: Schnee im Frühling, Rauminstallation
Kunstverein Wolfsburg: Sonnenblumen in der Nacht (Katalog)
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerpen: Sunset, Rauminstallation
1989 Shedhalle, Zürich: Nachtblumen, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, Antwerpen: Spiegelschatten, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Kunstverein Arnsberg: Narziß, Rauminstallation
Stadthuis Almere: Versenkter Horizont, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Magasin Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble: Temple de la nuit,
Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1990 John Gibson Gallery, New York: Nachtwache, Rauminstallation
Galerie Wanda Reiff, Maastricht: Nachtland, Rauminstallation
1991 The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York: Eclipse of the Earth
1992 Galerie Renate Schröder, Mönchengladbach
1993 The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin: Rainhouse, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
The Shoto Museum of Art, Tokio: Geworfene Schatten, Rauminstallation (Katalog) und Retrospektive (Katalog)
Tramway, Glasgow: Downtown Train, Rauminstallation
Galerie Juana Mordó, Madrid
1994 Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster: Schlafende Sterne, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Art Front Gallery, Tokio: Behind the Light, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1995 Marstall, Schloß Rastatt, Stadt und Kunstverein Rastatt: Gefangener Schatten, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1996 Galerie Inge Friebe: Lüdenscheid: Blinde Kuh
Museum Wiesbaden: Das Blaue Haus (die gefangene Zeit), Ort-Raum (Katalog)
Galerie + Edition Renate Schröder, Köln: Augenblick
1997 St. Nicolai, Alfeld (Leine): Regenstein, Ort-Raum (Katalog)
Kasseler Kunstverein in der Alten Brüderkirche Kassel: Götternacht, Ort-Raum (Edition, Katalog)

Group Exhibitions (selection)

Group Exhibitions (selection)

1973 Seibu Department Store Gallery, Tokio: 7th Intern. Young Artist's Exhibition (Katalog)
1974 Ueno Royal Museum, Tokio: 10th Japan Art Festival, Wanderausstellung (Katalog)
1977 Städtische Galerie, Schloß Wolfsburg: Forum Junger Kunst, Wanderausstellung
1978, 1979, 1980 Fotoforum Kassel: Photography as Art/Art as Photography, Wander- ausstellung Katalog)
1981 Städtische Galerie, Schloß Wolfsburg: Forum Junger Kunst, Wanderausstellung
Lodz: Construction in Process in the Art of 70's (Katalog)
1982 Alte Oper, Frankfurt/Main: Spielraum - Raumspiele (Katalog)
1983 Fundació Miró, Barcelona: El Vestit.
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokio und Kyoto: Photography in Contemporary Art (Katalog)
1984 Kunstverein Rosenheim, Eine Initiative deutscher Kunstvereine: Kunstlandschaft Bundesrepublik (Katalog)
Museum des 20.Jahrhunderts, Wien: 1984 - Orwell und die Gegenwart
1985 Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringer Str.13, München: Process und Konstruktion: Alternativ, Rauminstallation
1986 Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent: chambre d'amis: Kreuztragung, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1987 Museum Wiesbaden, Oktogon: Die Ährenleserinnen, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Furka-Paß, Schweiz, Furkart '87: Trink eine Tasse Tee, Rauminstallation
1989 Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent: Europalia '89 Japan: Nachtschatten, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1990 Kunstverein Heidelberg, Heidelberger Schloß: Blau - Farbe der Ferne: Nachtgeburt, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
The Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya / Japan: The Imprinted Ideas, (Katalog)
1991 Haag's Gemeente Museum, Den Haag: Nachtflug, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam; Fuente (Buch)
1992 Museum de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro: Arte Amazonas, Wanderausstellung (Katalog)
documenta 9, Kassel: Nachtmuseum, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1993 Kunst in Kirchen Raum geben, Hannover: Felsenglocke, Skulptur (Katalog)
Museum Folkwang, Essen: Licht-Räume (Katalog)
1994 Galerie M+R Fricke, Düsseldorf: Skulptur statt Denkmal: Regensterne, Skulptur (Buch)
Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa / Japan: Out of Bounds, Open Air '94 (Buch)
Art Front Gallery u. Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Tokio: Farêt. Tashikawa (Buch)
1995 Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebeaek/Dänemark: Japan Today, Wanderausstellung (Katalog)
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima: After Hiroshima: Nachtraum, Rauminstallation (Katalog)
1997 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart: Magie der Zahl in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts (Katalog und Buch)

Bibliography (selection)

Bibliography (selection)

1985 Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München: Fisch+Schiff-leer+mehr, Text: Helmut Friedel
1988 Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf: Windstille, Text: Hermann Hesse, Maurice Maeterlinck, Yukio Misima, Jiri Svestka
1989 Magasin, Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble: Temple de la nuit, Text: Jan Hoet, Franz Kaiser, Heinz Liesbrock
1992 Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst: Kazuo Katase; Text: Detlef Bluemler; Ausgabe 20, WB Verlag GmbH & Co KG, München - ISSN 0934-1730
1993 The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin: Rainhouse, Text: John Hutchinson, Nicola White, Kazuhiro Yamamoto
1993 The Shoto Museum of Art, Tokio: Geworfene Schatten, Text: Shôkin Furuta, Klaus Hoffmann, Yuri Mitsuda
1994 Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Museum Wiesbaden (1996): Schlafende Sterne, Text: Heinz Liesbrock, Volker Rattemeyer

Bibliography (Group Exhibitions - selection)

Bibliography (Group Exhibitions - selection)

1975 Ueno Royal Museum, Tokio: 10th Japan Art Festival
1983 The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokio: Photography in Contemporary Art, Text: Shigeo Chiba
1984 Kunstlandschaft Bundesrepublik. Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Kunstvereine, Ernst Klett Verlag, Stuttgart. Text: Hans Gercke
1986 Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent: chambre d'amis, Text: Jan Hoet
1990 The Tochigi Prefectural Museum of fine arts, Utsunomiya: The Imprinted Ideas, Text: Kazuhiro Yamamoto
1991 Haag's Gemeente Museum, Den Haag: Rhizome, Text: Frank Kaiser
Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam: Fuente, Text: Louwrien Wijers
1992 documenta 9, Edition Cantz, Stuttgart
1994 Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa/Japan: Out of Bounds, Open Air '94, Text: Yuji Akimoto, Fumio Nanjo
1995 Installation Art, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London
Gegenwartskunst in Japan, Maruzen Books, Tokio, Text: Norio Sugarawa

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Exhibition History 

Exhibition History

SUMMARY based on artist-info records. More details and Visualizing Art Networks on demand.
Venue types: Gallery / Museum / Non-Profit / Collector
Exhibitions in artist-info 40 (S 21/ G 19) Did show together with - Top 5 of 675 artists
(no. of shows) - all shows - Top 100
Patrick Raynaud (4)- 25
Mischa Kuball (3)- 79
Eberhard Bosslet [Eberhard Boßlet] (3)- 30
Rosemarie Trockel (3)- 289
SHIMABUKU [Michihiro Shimabuku, Shima Buku] (3)- 29
Exhibitions by type
39:   14 / 5 / 16 / 4
Venues by type
32:   9 / 4 / 15 / 4
Curators 7
artist-info records Nov 1981 - Jan 2019
Countries - Top 5 of 5
Germany (32)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
Finland (1)
Belgium (1)
Cities - Top 5 of 25
Lüdenscheid (5)
Frankfurt am Main (4)
Köln (4)
Kassel (3)
Ludwigshafen (2)
Venues (no. of shows ) Top 5 of 32
Galerie Friebe (5)
Galerie Renate Schröder (2)
Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (2)
Overbeck-Gesellschaft (2)
Kasseler Kunstverein (1)
Curators (no. of shows) Top 5 of 7
Gerhard Finckh(1), Wolfgang Jean Stock(1), Peter Weiermair(1), Renate Wiehager(1), Oliver Zybok(1)
Offers/Requests Exhibition Announcement S / G Solo/Group Exhibitions   (..) Exhibitions + Favorites
Exhibition Title


 - Künstlerinnen und Künstler in der Overbeck-Gesellschaft 1918-2018 | (5/5) 1990 bis heute
Overbeck-Gesellschaft G Nov 2018 - Jan 2019 Lübeck (431) +0
Zybok, Oliver (Curator)       +0
Marta Herford G May 2015 - Aug 2015 Herford (62) +0
Deutsche Bank Collection - Artists S Apr 2015 - Apr 2015 Frankfurt am Main (1) +0
Quadrat - Josef Albers Museum S Sep 2012 - Dec 2012 Bottrop (63) +0
Exhibition Title

Minimalism and Applied I

 - Objects for Imaginative and Real Use
Daimler Contemporary Berlin G Sep 2007 - Feb 2008 Berlin (14) +0
Wiehager, Renate (Curator)       +0
Daimler Contemporary Berlin S Feb 2006 - Apr 2006 Berlin (3) +0
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