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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other


Wrightwood 659 / Chicago / Art

The Japanese painter Tetsuya Ishida died in 2005, at 31, struck by a train. He was a surrealist whose imagery spoke to the desolation of his generation, which came of age during a decade—the 1990s—when Japan entered a deep recession. Derailed dreams, the body’s absorption into dehumanizing technology, a sense of being trapped in anonymity—these are Ishida themes. The face in his paintings is always, hauntingly, the same. The body is never autonomous, but grafted into objects, creatures, buildings. Ishida has a cult following in his country. This is the first and only U.S. retrospective of his art. —L.J.

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