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Noriyuki Haraguchi

Noriyuki Haraguchi, <em>SAGYOU-1</em>, 2019, acrylic on wood, 120.3 x 91.0 x 5.5cm
Noriyuki Haraguchi, SAGYOU-1, 2019, acrylic on wood, 120.3 x 91.0 x 5.5cm

Born in 1946 in Yokosuka, Noriyuki Haraguchi graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Nihon University College of Art in 1970. In a career spanning over fifty years, Haraguchi is known to be one of the foremost representatives of Mono-ha, a Tokyo-based art movement active during the late 1960s to the early 1970s which took the ‘thing itself’ as the starting point for artistic production. While carrying on the spirit of Mono-ha, the artist produced innovative work ranging from installations, sculptures and paintings, using a variety of industrial materials including rubber, honeycomb board, polyurethane, car parts and wood. Evident in works such as A-4E Skyhawk (1968-1969), a life-size sculpture of a fighter jet created in the early years of his career, and Oil-Pool (1977), a large steel pool filled with spent oil which he presented at Documenta 6 in Kassel as the first ever Japanese artist to be selected for participation, Haraguchi’s oeuvre exudes a powerful presence stemming from a steadfast engagement with the sheer ‘materiality’ of the materials; and while minimalist in appearance, his work is endowed with a conceptual versatility that gestures toward a wider social context. Notable solo exhibitions include a major retrospective at Stätdtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich, 2001), BankART Studio NYK (Kanagawa, 2009), Yokosuka Museum of Art (Kanagawa, 2011) and Fergus McCaffrey (New York, 2015). His work has also been featured in various group exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg, 2007), Blum & Poe (Los Angeles, 2012) and The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2012). Haraguchi passed away in August of 2020 at the age of 74.