Thursday, March 10, 2005

Yoshitoshi Mori

International dining

This design caught my eye when I happened to be in Okage-yokochou near Ise Grand Shrine back in December last year. The bold and powerful style in which the figure was done appealed to me and I took a photo, intending to look up the artist when I got back home. Viewing the photo on my computer screen, however, I found that the resolution wasn't high enough for me to make out artist's signature. Tough luck.

The other day I tried again. I still couldn't read the signature, but combining some Google searches with a fair bit of trial and error I eventually discovered that the artist was Yoshitoshi Mori (1898-1992).

Gleaned from this page, here's a quick biographical sketch:

Yoshitoshi Mori is the dean of Japan's modern printmakers, and his contributions to the art are almost legendary. In addition to being one of the world's supreme printmakers, he was also an outstanding creator of design for fabrics. He was born in Tokyo and had an academic art training at the Kawabata School of Fine Arts. After graduating from the art school, Mori became a textile designer and dyer of kimono fabrics. When Mori made his first print, he was nearly sixty years old. He had numerous one-man shows in Japan in the 60's. In 1966, Mori mounted a traveling show in America sponsored by The Japan Society, New York. Between 1957 and 1977 he participated in 30 International Exhibitions and group shows. His works have been shown in New York, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Pasadena, San Diego, Honolulu, Mexico City, Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Barcelona, and Melbourne. In 1984 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Maryland University. In 1991 he was honored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for his long years of meritorious service.

The energetic simplicity of his work is something that I find very attractive. There is lots of of strength in pieces such as the Portrait of Shibaraku and the Portrait of Kabuki Actor. Incidentally, I found a print of the Kabuki Samurai for sale. It goes for $1,600.

Bonus links: sosaku hanga, kappazuri-e.


Blogger Akarui said...

P.S. The photo at the top of the post is taken from this Flickr set.

March 10, 2005  

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