Erró - Japanese Love Letters (1979–1980)
The series Japanese Love Letters is not typical of Erró’s art. The unique place of the series in his oeuvre is established by the visual content, in which the written word competes with other pictorial material, and still more by the palette, as these works are all in shades of gray and brown, highly unusual for this color-happy artist. The origin story of these works is tied to the artist’s world travels of 1971-1972, which included a stay in Japan.
In a second-hand store in Tokyo, the artist came across an old illustrated book accompanied by photographs and facsimiles of sources (letters, memoranda, pages from books) pertaining to the book’s subjects and their lives. Fascinated, he persuaded the second-hand dealer to sell him photocopies of all the papers, and on returning home to Paris began to work with the documents without having the least understanding of the text, only gathering from the pictures that the subject pertained to married couples, or pairs. From this raw material he made collages which became the basis of the series of paintings.
Much later, assisted by Alain and Fusako Jouffroy, Erró gained knowledge of some of the personages that he had painted: many of them were educated women who had been dissident in Japanese society.
Sunday 27 September 3 p.m.
Hafnarhús – Japanese Love Letters
Humour / Amour Kristín Ingvarsdóttir discusses Erró’s paintingseries Japanese Love Letters.