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Yoshida (Paperback)

Three Generations of Japanese Printmaking

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Art History

Imprint: Dulwich
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 60
ISBN: 9781913645694
Published: 19th June 2024



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This catalogue, the fi rst of its kind in the UK, accompanying the 2024 exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, explores the important contribution to Japanese woodblock printing of the Yoshida family, from patriarch Hiroshi down to the current generation, led by Yoshida Ayomi. The story of the Yoshida family has been woven into the story of Japanese printmaking across two centuries, with each generation infusing this traditional art form with their sensitivity and imagination. Trained as a painter and watercolourist, Yoshida Hiroshi (1876–1950) was a pioneer of the shin hanga artistic movement, which revived the traditional ukiyo-e prints (‘pictures of the floating world’) focusing on beautiful landscapes and landmarks and combined them with Western influences. His incredible corpus of woodblock prints, inspired by his travels across Japan but also in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and North America, greatly contributed to the popularity of Japanese prints in the West. A rare instance in the early twentieth-century Japanese art world, the Yoshida legacy relies also on the important contribution of its women: first Fujio (1887–1987), Hiroshi’s wife, a watercolourist, painter and printmaker, who was the first Japanese woman artist to gain international acclaim. Her style developed over time from naturalism towards greater stylization and organic abstraction, with her late still lifes strikingly balancing boldness and sensuality. Toshi (1911–1995) and Hodaka (1926–1995), Hiroshi and Fujio’s sons, represent the second generation of this artistic dynasty; Toshi introduced post-war abstraction to the Japanese printmaking process, while Hodaka pushed these modernist instances further, achieving a unique personal style inspired by the sosaku hanga movement of artistic self-expression. His wife Chizuko (1924–2017) co-founded the first group of female printmakers in Japan, the Women’s Print Association. Her works sapiently connect popular art movements like Abstract Expressionism with Japanese printmaking. The youngest member of the Yoshida family is Ayomi (b. 1958), daughter of Hodaka and Chizuko, whose practice bridges the gap between ukyio-e and contemporary art thanks also to the exploration of organic materials. She has been exhibited at major international institutions and will contribute an original installation to the Dulwich show.

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