Tetsumi Kudo. Pollution - Cultivation - New-Ecology Underground. 1972-73

Tetsumi Kudo Pollution - Cultivation - New-Ecology Underground 1972-73

  • Not on view

Kudo’s meticulous microenvironments combine industrial materials and everyday objects that suggest the threats posed by nuclear energy and technology. This sculpture, from a group of works known as Pollution–Cultivation–New Ecology, features depictions of human organs painted in fluorescent colors and insects entangled in electrical cables and wires on a circuit board, all covered by a layer of dried-up soil and discolored plastic flowers in a state of near ruin.

Kudo, who had been part of the Neo-Dada movement in Tokyo in the early 1960s, arrived in Paris in 1962, one of many Japanese artists who moved abroad in order to study. He considered the French capital a “protective dome,” and remained there for nearly twenty years. The source of his apocalyptic vision of the future may in part have been his childhood experiences of World War II, but it may also have sprung from what he perceived as the “unreasonable demand on nature” imposed by human behavior and values. “In the past, our way of thinking on Earth has often been based on antagonism,” the artist wrote in 1972. “And antagonism, in which human beings confront nature or mechanisms, only creates pollution.”

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Medium
Wood, plastic, resin, adhesive, electric system, cotton, wire, thermometer, paint, hair, and plexiglass
Dimensions
34 1/4 x 58 x 23 5/8" (87 x 147.3 x 60 cm)
Credit
Gift of Mrs. Maurice L. Stone in memory of her husband and gift of Murray Graham (both by exchange)
Object number
46.2011
Copyright
© 2021 ADAGP, Paris + ARS, New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].