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Leiko Ikemura (イケムラレイコ, Ikemura Reiko?, born August 22, 1951 in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese-Swiss painter and sculptor.


Leiko Ikemura left her country to study in Spain from 1973 to 1978 at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Granada and Seville. In 1979 she moved to Zurich to live and worked there for 4 years. The first of her mature paintings developed around 1980. Her first solo show in a public institution took place in 1983 at the "Bonn Kunstverein", in Bonn, Germany. That same year she spent as an artist in residency in Nuremberg, (“Stadtzeichnerin” upon invitation of the city of Nuremberg). During the next several years Ikemura had numerous solo shows in galleries and public institutions, among others: 1987 at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, Melbourne International Biennial 1999, Japan Pavilion. In 1985 the artist moved to Cologne. Her turn to sculpture began in the year 1987. In the 1990s the female figure crystallized as her main topic for her work during the several years since. In 1991 the artist became a Professor for Painting at the "Universität der Künste" (University of fine Arts) in Berlin.

Leiko Ikemura lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.


* 2008: August Macke Prize of the city of Meschede and the Hochsauerlandkreis Meschede, Germany
* 2007: Iserlohn Art Prize, by the Citizens Foundation of the Savings Bank of Iserlohn, Germany
* 2002: The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Artist Residency, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
* 2001: "Deutscher Kritikerpreis" Critics Award for Visual Arts, German Association of Critics, Berlin, Germany
* 1988: Prize of the Jury, International Triennale for Original Graphics, Grenchen, Switzerland
* 1983 - 84: "Nuremberg Stadtzeichnerin", Artist residency grant by Faber-Castell & the City of Nuremberg
* 1982: Art prize of Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf, Germany
* 1981: Prize of the Fountation for Graphic Art in Switzerland, ETH Zuerich, Switzerland
* 1981: Grant of the City of Zuerich, Switzerland
* 1981: Grant of the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation. Federal Bureau for Culture of Switzerland

Shows (Selection)

* 2008: "Emotional Drawings (tentative title)" The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, MOMAK, jap
* 2008: "Leiko Ikemura; Tag, Nacht und Halbmond" Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, ch
* 2008: "A Perspective on Contemporary Art 6: Emotional Drawing", National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, MOMAT, jap
* 2007: "The Spaces Between" Leiko Ikemura und Guenther Foerg, Langen Foundation, Neuss, de
* 2007: "Fiction for the Real" National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, jap
* 2006: "Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin" Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, de
* 2006: "u mi no ko" The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Mishima, jap (solo)
* 2006: "The Child" Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota Aichi, jap
* 2005: "The World is A Stage. Stories Behind Pictures" Mori Art Museum, (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower), Tokyo, jap
* 2005: "Life actually" MOT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, jap
* 2004: "Sculpture Painting Drawing" Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, de, Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, de (solo)
* 2003: "Himmel Falden" Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, dk
* 2002: "Ozean — ein Projekt", Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein (solo)
* 2001: "Les années lumière" Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, ch (solo)
* 2001: "Terra! Terra!" Centro Sperimentale d´Arte Contemporanea, Caraglio, it
* 2000: "Beyond the horizon" Toyota Munincipal Museum of Art, Toyota, jap (solo)
* 2000: "Visage" The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, jap
* 1999: "Sign of life" Melbourne International Biennal, Japan Pavillon, Melbourne, au (solo)
* 1999: "La razon para la impresion" Mueso de Arte Moderno de Medellin, co
* 1999: "Koeln Skulptur 2" Skulpturen Park Köln, Cologne, de
* 1999: "Migration" The Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, usa (solo)
* 1997: "Leiko Ikemura" Ausstellungsgesellschaft für zeitgenoessische Kunst Zollverein, Essen, de (solo)
* 1995: "art en plein air" Motiers '95, Motiers, ch
* 1992: "Ankunft" Kunstwerke, Berlin, de
* 1991: "Double Take" Soho Art House, New York, usa
* 1990: "A Perspective of Contemporary Art: Color and/or Monochrome" The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, jap
* 1989: "Drawing as Itself" The National Museum of Art, Osaka, jap
* 1988: "Leiko Ikemura" Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne, ch (solo)
* 1988: "Made in Cologne" DuMont Kunsthalle, Köln, de
* 1987: “Stiller Nachmittag“ Kunsthaus Zuerich, Zurich, ch
* 1987: "Leiko Ikemura, Gemaelde, Zeichnungen 1980-1987" Museum of Contemporary Art (Basel), ch (solo)
* 1985: “Vom Zeichnen“ Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main, Kasseler Kunstverein, Museum moderner Kunst MUMOK, Wien, at
* 1983: "Leiko Ikemura" Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, de (solo)


* "u mi no ko" (jap) poems and drawings by Leiko Ikemura, The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Akaaka (Japan), ISBN 4-903545-04-0
* "andalusia" authors: John Yau, Leiko Ikemura, Weidle Verlag, ISBN 3-931135-96-9
* "Leiko Ikemura: Sculpture, painting, drawing" authors: Hans-Jürgen Schwalm, Wilfried Dickhoff, Britta E. Buhlmann, Elisabeth Bronfen, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen ISBN 3-929040-81-6
* "beyond the horizon" de, en, jap, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art; T. Kitagawa, editors: Fölbach, Dietmar ISBN 3-934795-50-1
* "Leiko Ikemura" authors: Udo Kittelmann, Friedemann Malsch, Noemi Smolik, editor: Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, Cologne, Milano
* "Leiko Ikemura" authors: Gerard A. Goodrow, Kimio Jinno, Friedeman Malsch, Alexander Pühringer, Cantz, ISBN 3-89322-803-9
* "Alpenindianer" authors: Leiko Ikemura, Akira Tatehata, editor: Satani Gallery, Tokyo
* "Hundertundelf Haiku" authors: Matsuo Basho, 22 drawings from Leiko Ikemura, editor: Amman Verlag, Zurich
* "Leiko Ikemura: Gemälde, Zeichnungen 1980-1987", authors: Dieter Koepplin, Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel) ISBN 3-7204-0053-0
* "Der stumme Schrei" authors: Kenzaburo Oe, Leiko Ikemura, editor (Nobel Price Edition): Coron Verlag (CH)
* "Shadows" authors: Leiko Ikemura, editor: Johan Jonker, Amsterdam et Gabriele Rivet, Cologne
* "Leiko Ikemura" authors: Curt Heigl, Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell, Kunsthalle Nürnberg
* "Ancestors" authors: Leiko Ikemura, edition, Kunstverein St. Gallen, (CH)
* "Wild cats and domestic cats" authors: Leiko Ikemura, 61 drawings, Edition Stähli, Zurich

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