From the Street to the Cosmos

April 1 - July 2, 2017

9:30-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
DIC Corporation
Chiba Prefecture, Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, Sakura City, Sakura City Board of Education

Museum Admission

  • Adults ¥1,300
  • College / 65 and over ¥1,100
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥600

Groups of 20 or more:

  • Adults ¥1,100
  • College / 65 and over ¥900
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥500

Persons with a disability pass:

  • Adults ¥1,000
  • College / 65 and over ¥800
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥400

*Admission also includes entrance to the permanent collection galleries.
- For students and seniors over 65, discounts require identification such as a Student ID, passport or driver's license.
- For persons with a disability pass=the same discounted price applies for one accompanying care-giver for each disability pass holder


Wols (born: Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, 1913 - 1951) was a rare and enigmatic artist whose creative efforts ranged from music and poetry to painting, in which he was self-taught. Having grown up in Germany after World War I, Wols moved to Paris, where he became recognized initially as a photographer. The subjects he chose included figures with their eyes closed and raw foodstuffs before cooking, which he turned into photographic works revealing a strong and discerning gaze.

From his teens, Wols had painted in watercolors and pursued drawing as well. When war broke out between Germany and France, he was interned in French prison camps as a German national where he spent his time absorbed in watercolors and drawing. It is said that images came to him when his eyes were closed and he drew with thin lines like spider’s threads and translucent colors to create watercolors with a unique appeal that was Wols’ alone.

Wols also began working in oil paints and in the postwar period developed a style unbound by conventional oil painting technique. His work was appreciated by literary figures of the day like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Paulhan, which prompted commissions for illustrations for their books that Wols executed in etching. However, these artistic activities were cut short when Wols died at the tragically young age of 38. Although he died in poverty, soon after his death Wols’ work gained recognition as a forerunner of Art Informel.

Wols’ art was introduced in Japan from 1956 and has since won the hearts of many. While few exhibitions of Wols’ art have been seen in Japan in recent years, the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art boasts a collection of Wols’oil paintings, watercolors and etchings. In this exhibition, we draw mainly on this collection to present a group of Wols’ works that, although not large in size, stand out for their depth and expansive scope. We hope that this exhibition will provide an opportunity for viewers to rediscover the art of this exceptional artist.

Lecture, Gallery Talk

Lecture 1:

“The Wandering Artist – Wols’ Life and Art” Finished
Shigeo Chiba
 (Art critic, supervisor to this exhibition) 
Saturday, April 15 - 13:30-15:00

Lecture 2:

“Informel (Informalism) and Wols” Finished
Shuji Takashina 
(Director, Ohara Museum of Art) 
Saturday, May 13 - 13:30-15:00

Special Gallery Talk:

Keiichiro Hirano (novelist) 
Saturday, May 27 - 14:00-15:00

Gallery Talks by the Curator:

Saturday April 1, Saturday June 17, 14:00-15:00

Guided Tours:

Daily at 14:00-15:00, except on days of lectures and curator gallery talks listed above.


“Pieces for the Violin Wols Loved – Centered on Bach”

Mayu Kishima (piano accompaniment by Itsuko Sakano)
Saturday June 3, 17:45 (open) / 18:00 (concert)

Having played violin from an early age, Wols reached such a level of skill that he was recommended for the position of an orchestra’s concertmaster before the age of 20. Because of World War II, he was forced to reside in an internment camp and then to move from place to place, and he even had to sell his violin that had long been his one consolation in life, after which he is said to have played Bach on a banjo instead.
In this concert, you will be able to listen to the noted young violinist performing the music that Wols loved so much.

[Concert Program]
Brahms: F.A.E Sonata 3rd Movement “Scherzo”
Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances
J.S. Bach: Partita for Solo Violin No. 2, 5th Movement “Chaconne”
Among others