Exhibition — 7 Sep 2019 until 2 Feb 2020
With the help of Japanese graphic designer Shigeru Watano (1937-2012), who lived in Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum was able to acquire a large number of posters in Japan. Watano started working with the then graphic design curator of the Stedelijk, Ada Stroeve in 1974, when she first introduced Tadanori Yokoo to Europe. Shigeru Watano, who died unexpectedly in 2012, would be an indispensable link with Japan for the Stedelijk Museum.
There are 800 Japanese posters in the Stedelijk Museum’s collection, which have often been the focus of exhibitions. As a posthumous token of gratitude to Shigeru Watano for his unwavering support and to the many designers who, thanks to his efforts, donated posters to the museum, the Stedelijk is holding an exhibition of 225 posters which opens in September. Inspired by the museum’s long collection history, the show will present a cross-section of work that emphasizes the breadth and dynamism of this segment of the graphic design collection. The exhibition features posters by designers such as Kazumasa Nagai, Ikko Tanaka, Mitsuo Katsui, Tadanori Yokoo, Shigeo Fukuda and many others.
As well as displaying a distinctive sensibility in their treatment of the subject, the posters are also examples of superb printing techniques. The posters were produced by the well-known Japanese printer Dai Nippon Printers, which has two galleries dedicated to international graphic design (DDD in Kyoto and GGG in Tokyo). Dai Nippon invited the Stedelijk to select a group of posters from their archive. The museum chose 92 posters, which the company gifted to the museum in 2018. The selection forms a valuable addition to the graphic design collection.