The radical Japanese art group Mavo, with work ranging from performance art to painting, book illustration, and architectural projects, shook the Japanese art establishment to its foundations. This book provides a critical evaluation of this movement, tracing Mavo's relationship to broader developments in modernism worldwide. It shows how Mavo artists sought to transform Japanese art in response to the rise of industrialism. They created images that conveyed the feelings of crisis, peril, and uncertainty that were beginning to characterize daily life, especially during the 1920s. Looking in depth at the art itself, the flamboyant personalities of the artists, and the cultural and political history of Japan in this interwar period, the author traces the strategies the Mavo group used as they sought to reintegrate art into daily experience.

Bibliography is included.
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Chapter headings
Western-Style Painting in Japan: Mimesis, Individualism, and Japanese Nationhood
A Prehistory of Mavo
Anatomy of a Movement
The Aesthetics and Politics of Rebellion
The Mavo Artist and Japan's Culture Industry
Theater, Theatricality, and the Politics of Pleasure
Epilogue: Laying Claim to Mavo's Legacy
Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde 1905-1931
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Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde 1905-1931

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