This kaleidoscopic catalog celebrates avant-garde artist Ay-Ō’s first major museum exhibition in the United States
Known as the “Rainbow Artist” for the prominent bright motif in his work, Ay-Ō has long referred to this compulsion as his “rainbow hell.” Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell invites readers into the vibrant world of his brilliant art, mind, and imagination, featuring artwork from the first major US museum exhibition devoted to his work.
Printed on heavy 100# paper and in 7 colors (with added green, orange, and metallic gold inks, plus 2 spot colors and spot varnish) to achieve Ay-Ō’s vibrant color palette, the book is its own stunning art object. The dustjacket, printed and silkscreened on uncoated, felted art board, is die-cut to reveal the rainbow-printed caseside. Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell presents approximately 140 gorgeous illustrations from the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, home to the largest US collection of Ay-Ō’s silkscreen prints, and loans from other US institutions along with enlightening catalog entries to better appreciate each piece. Additionally, the book includes:
- An essay from Kit Brooks, the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, that provides a biography of Ay-Ō; explores the artist’s fluctuating explanations for his rainbow fixation and its simultaneous liberation and restriction; and emphasizes his legacy as an eminent member of Fluxus, an experimental art group in the 1960s and 1970s.
- An illustrated essay from Ay-Ō’s longtime printer Sukeda Kenryō, where he describes his painstaking work to translate the artist’s designs onto prismatic silkscreen prints, work that can take up to a year to accomplish.
- A message from the artist Ay-Ō himself.
Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell is a colorful and comprehensive book that pays tribute to an extraordinary career and legacy as luminous as the art itself.