Mindfulness and Art | Mindfulness and Japanese Woodcut Prints
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Mindfulness and Japanese Prints

Marvelous Japaese Woodcut Prints

Mindfulness and Japanese Prints

Mindfulness and Looking at Art

Remember last month, to be precise on June 13th, I wrote a post about going to Carnegie Art Museum to see, “Japanese Printmakers, 1912-2022”? But I was disappointed because this show had not yet open. We ended up seeing Joan Brown’s retrospective instead. And how her emotionally charged and painterly works introduced me to an artist I did not know that had left me invigorated and inspired?

The show of woodblock prints has finally opened. Last Friday I got to mindfully saunter through “Japanese Printmakers, 1912-2022” on view until February 2024. If you love Japanese woodcut prints as much as I do, this exhibition is a must see.

Japanese printmakers have been and continue to practice and adapt to their centuries old art tradition for technological age. The show is divided into three important phases of development: New Prints, Creative Prints and Contemporary Prints. My favorite continues to be ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) style hugely popular during Edo Period (1615-1868). In the Carnegie show they are called “New Prints” for the reasons that the show explains. 

New Prints called shin-hanga was an attempt to preserve and perpetuate traditional Japanese art and culture. Many of these artists were trained in western style painting. They modernized the traditional ukiyo-e subject such as women, actors, birds and flowers, and landscapes. They were popular from 1920 to 1940’s but were gradually eclipsed by Creative and Contemporary prints. 

Famous for making women and birds during his short-lived career, the translucent effect in Hashiguchi Goyo’s works—the sheer fabric draped over the female figure and translucent effect of the duck’s head visible beneath water takes your breath away.   

I apologize for reflections of light on each of the prints. Obviously their charm and beauty is most appealing as originals. Look at them here and then plan a trip to the museum. The show is open until February 2024. Enjoy!

  • Thank you for sharing your recommendations and inspiration!
    Shine on!
    Peace, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!

    August 18, 2023 at 7:12 am
  • Madhu B. Wangu

    You’re so welcome, Larry! Hope you make a trip to the art museum and enjoy the day with these visual meditations.

    August 18, 2023 at 12:51 pm

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