Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita and the Art of the Cat | Summer 2022

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Predating Warhol with an art persona as radical as his work, the Japanese-French artist Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (藤田 嗣治, 1886–1968) might have been a household name akin to Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse (They were his colleagues in 1920s Paris—even closer friends included Chaim Soutine and Amedeo Modigliani). While working in Montparnasse, Foujita was highly acclaimed and commercially successful, known best for his paintings of women and cats, as well as a hybrid style that borrowed equally from Japanese calligraphy and the School of Paris avant-garde. Recent Foujita retrospectives have been exhibited from Tokyo’s Metropolitan Art Museum to Paris’s Musée Maillol. This summer exhibition draws from works held in Vanderbilt University’s collections.

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