The first major U.S. monograph in ten years on Murakami is the definitive survey of the paintings of one of today’s most influential artists. Takashi Murakami (b. 1962), one of contemporary art’s most widely recognized exponents, receives a long-awaited critical consideration in this important volume. Accompanying the first retrospective exhibition devoted solely to Murakami’s paintings, this book traces Murakami’s career from his earliest training to his current studio practice. Where other books address the commercial aspects of Murakami’s work, this is the first serious survey of his work as a painter. Through essays and illustrations— many previously unpublished—it explores the artist’s relationship to the tradition of Japanese painting and his facility in straddling high and low, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, commercial and high art. New texts address Murakami’s output in the context of postwar Japan, situating the artist in relation to folklore, traditional Japanese painting, the Tokyo art scene in the 1980s and 1990s, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. This richly illustrated volume also includes a detailed biography and exhibition history. Takashi Murakami is a true essential for collectors and fans alike.