© MURAKAMI Preparations!

With just a day left before the opening of © MURAKAMI, installation has wrapped up here at the Brooklyn Museum. We will be presenting nearly 100 works of art by the internationally-acclaimed artist Takashi Murakami as part of the most comprehensive retrospective of his work to date. Along with our own conservators, registrars, and art handlers, we have been hosting officials from Kaikai Kiki, (the artist’s studio in Tokyo and New York), and from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles – the exhibition’s organizing institution – to assist with the installation. It’s been a packed house, but we are definitely grateful for so many experienced pairs of hands. And of course, the progress of the installation has also been closely monitored by the artist himself.

[note: photo removed due to agreement with artist]

Takashi Murakami (left) with Paul Schimmel, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Mami Kato. Flower Matango (b), 2001-2006 and Cosmos, 2003. Artworks ©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
I am most excited about the nitty-gritty details which make for an interesting installation period at the Museum. This multi-faceted exhibition fuses art with design elements, and Murakami has designed custom carpets and wallpaper to serve as the backdrop for his lively pieces. The effect is quite marvelous! Lately I have been consumed by the carpeting, for which a delicate installation plan had to be developed. As always, our primary goal was to achieve a seamless, flawless look for the exhibition. But there were other concerns as well; namely, ensuring that a temporary install would not permanently damage our original granite flooring while simultaneously guaranteeing that the bonding method would withstand heavy traffic. I think we’re there; the carpet looks wonderful.

[note: photo removed due to agreement with artist]
Installers from Carpet Resources, Ltd., work with Ken Moser, Chief Conservator (right) to determine an appropriate installation plan for the carpet. Photo by Tamara Schechter. Artwork ©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

As you can see from the first photo in this post, Murakami sees the gallery space itself as an extension of his artistic presentation, meant not to fade into the background but rather to contribute to the overall atmosphere created by his work. Through the use of carpet and wallpaper, Murakami turns the very walls and floors around his art into works of art themselves. We have had plenty of experience installing fine art wallpaper; many of you may remember this element in the presentation of Global Feminisms. In addition, artist Ghada Amer has also explored the use of wallpaper in her work; you can check that out in Ghada Amer: Love Has No End, currently on view in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Murakami’s mesmerizing patterns are meant to overwhelm the senses and stimulate a greater connection to his work, and our first-class wallpaper installer, Amir Hasan, worked diligently for two weeks to ensure that Murakami’s intricate patterns matched seamlessly.


[note: photo removed due to agreement with artist]

Amir Hasan, installer extraordinaire, hangs Murakami’s wallpaper. Photo by Shelley Bernstein. Jelly Fish Eyes, 2001. Artwork ©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

This presentation will be stellar, and I hope these images have sufficiently whetted your appetite, but, be aware, when the show closes the images within my post will have to come down along with the exhibition. Many thanks to Takashi Murakami and KaiKai KiKi for allowing us to share these images with you during the run of the show! © MURAKAMI opens on April 5th!