Today's postings

  1. [Baren 28781] Frank's blog (Barbara Mason)
  2. [Baren 28782] Woodblock work on display in Chicago / Westcliffe, CO / also, Adachi in SF on Sunday (baren_member #
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Message 1
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 06:16:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 28781] Frank's blog
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Congratulations on your work, I think you are getting the hanga of this! Nice images.
Best to you,

Author: Frank Trueba
Item: What I did this summer
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Message 2
From: baren_member #
Date: 22 Sep 2005 04:25:18 -0000
Subject: [Baren 28782] Woodblock work on display in Chicago / Westcliffe, CO / also, Adachi in SF on Sunday

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Google News at work again: three items this time ..


From the Loyola Phoenix (Loyola University paper), Chicago

"When people find themselves in a rapidly changing world, nostalgia becomes a driving force in their lives. Influences from Japan's intense period of industrialization and Westernization in the first half of the 20th century show up in much of the art of the period, as the artists sought meaning in a modern landscape. The Art Institute of Chicago's exhibit, "City and Country: Views of Urban and Rural Japan" shows beautiful woodblock prints illustrating the idealization of the past and the vision of the future in a nation entering a new era.

Located in the Beatrice Rice Sheridan Gallery in the Asian collection, the exhibit - which runs through Oct. 9 and is free with general admission - puts images of rural life in Japan opposite prints of city life in the 1920s through the 1950s. The two different subjects are arranged in order to give the viewer a sense of the divide between rural and urban life in Japan. Modern Japanese pottery made by Rosanjin Kitaoj, Kawase Mitsuyuki and Iwada Tadeashi is displayed throughout the exhibit, illustrating the use of similar themes throughout Japanese art at the time.

Hiratsuka Un'ichi's "Cape Nichiren, Izu Peninsula" immediately stands out. Unlike most of the other prints, it is in black and white and utilizes simple lines and a classic Zen style to show a tumultuous ocean with a small, calm island in the distance. Its beautiful, classical style shows the natural world beyond human control.

Moving through the exhibit, many of the paintings of rural life show a minimal amount of human activity. The art usually depicts farmers working in fields or going through their daily routines in houses that are overshadowed by mountains. The countryside is a place of refuge and natural harmony. Even rural town scenes are empty and peaceful with natural imagery surrounding them. Yoshida Toshi's print of "Hikone Castle" shows the titular castle, but only a few glimpses of towers through the trees of an ancient forest.

The prints of cityscapes show a less-idyllic world from many conflicting perspectives. The styles range from the unnatural colors and abstract, disturbing forms of Kawakami Sumio to the peaceful photorealism of Kawase Hasui. Sumio's print, "Night at Ginza," shows a man in a trench coat overlooking the construction of a new building with his back to the viewer. The work gives off an ambiguous feeling of suspense; the man's face is hidden and one cannot tell if he is mourning the passing of an era or basking in the power of the machines creating and destroying buildings.

Many of the prints show a similar aesthetic to the visions of the country. Oda Kazuma's "Night Scene at Tokyo Theater" mirrors the imagery of his print of "Spring Rain at Mount Tsukuba," but with the looming figure of the theater replacing the mountain's undeniable presence in the background. Others show urban parks with tiny figures overshadowed by classical Japanese structures and trees.

The fragile prints in the exhibit afford the viewer a unique look into the mindset of a nation in transition. In their beautiful rendering of the rich Japanese landscape, the artists show the human need to hold on to and idealize the past while moving into the future. While the urban landscapes are full of captivating images, many of them lack the peace of the prints of the countryside. The new cities were places of opportunity and change, places without a solid past from which to start."


From the Wet Mountain Tribune, in Westcliffe, Colorado:

"More is definitely better at this year’s Art for the Sangres exhibition and sale being held this Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Pines ranch.

Longtime Taos, N.M. resident Angie Coleman is well-known for her reduction woodblock prints which capture the elements of the high desert using color and composition to reveal the nuances of the Southwest landscape.

A teacher of printmaking and drawing currently in residence at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Jean Gumpper’s woodcuts look closely at nature and depict a detailed view of the natural world."


Also a reminder: The Adachi demonstrations are in SF this coming Sunday, at the Asian Art Museum

Traditional Japanese Woodblock Printing
Sunday, September 25, 2:00–3:30 pm
Samsung Hall

The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints demonstrates the printing of a replica of Hokusai's masterpiece, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," using the same techniques employed for more than 700 years in Japan.