Thursday, May 31, 2007

Princess Haiku visits the Asian Art Museum

If you live near or are visiting San Francisco, the The Asian Art American Museum is having a fabulous new Show.

Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales: Woodblock Prints from Edo to Meiji
May 26–September 2, 2007
Hambrecht Gallery

Features a hundred prints by Taiso Yoshitoshi (1839–1892) dating from the turbulent last decades of Edo Japan to the westernizing Meiji era. The exhibition is built around two series that deal with the supernatural, one from the beginning of Yoshitoshi’s career, the other from the end—stylistically so different that they could be by different artists. Sometimes considered ancestors of modern manga (Japanese comics), woodblock prints were known as ukiyo-e, pictures of the “floating world” of entertainment, especially of actors and courtesans. Yoshitoshi preferred other subjects, including events from folklore and history, often bloody. Colors are intense, gestures histrionic. In his later designs Yoshitoshi moved beyond the swirl of momentous events to portray human emotions with great psychological subtlety, which is his most important contribution to ukiyo-e. Through his work, a picture emerges of traditional Japanese society moving at a breakneck speed into the modern world.

1 comment:

S. Camille Crawford said...

Gasp! That's beautiful. Wish I was thre!