Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Artist of the moment……..Noriko Yamamoto


Noriko Yamamoto is a Japanese artist renown for her abstract art born in the year 1929. As a child she was taught the fine art of calligraphy by her father. Yamamoto’s family moved to Tokyo, Japan when she was a young child.

Her family lived in Honolulu, Hawaii from 1935 to 1941 before moving back to Tokyo, Japan in 1941.

In the 1950s the artist would relocate to the United States where she attended the California College of Arts and Crafts located in Oakland, California. An important mentor for the artist was the painter Richard Diebenkorn.

Yamamoto earned both a bachelors of fine art and masters of fine arts degree.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist works in acrylics, watercolors, oils, sculpture, and collage.



Artist of the moment………….Katsuyuki Nishijima


Katsuyuki Nishijima is a fantastic artist working with the Japanese woodblock print. Katsuyuki Nishijima was born Yamaguchi, Prefecture in the year 1945.

His favorite subject is the umbrella. The artist also enjoys exploring different patterns and textures of shapes that repeat like the tiles of a roof or the wood grain of an old store sign. Another favorite subject is the shape and patterns of tree leaves and the shadows they create that fall on the ground.

Nishijima began working in the sosaku-hanga style in 1972.

The artist doesn’t include the figure in his artwork.

Price range information: Most prints are available for one thousand dollars or less. The artist is highly collected and works in large, but not open print editions.



Artist of the moment……….Koshiro Onchi


Koshiro Onchi was is sometimes called the father of the sosaku hanga movement. Onchi was renown for his rather abstract style.

Koshiro Onchi was born in Tokyo, Japan in the year 1895. His family were aristocrats and Onchi received excellent education.

The artist attended Tokyo School of Fine Arts where he studied painting and sculpture.

Onchi was both a painter and photographer. He also worked in a realist style in addition to his abstract style.

Below we visit a show featuring the work of Koshiro Onchi that took place recently at the Art Institute of Chicago:

Onchi passed away in 1955.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Over his career, Koshiro Onchi designed more than 1,000 books.

Of his works I prefer the abstracts. These have a great sense of movement and variety of color. The design is simple but beautiful.



Artist of the moment………Kawase Hasui

Kawase Hasui was a fantastic Japanese woodblock artist renown for his images of the landscape. Hasui also painted the figure.

Hasui studied privately with master artist Kiyokata Kaburagi at his studio.

Kawase Hasui was born in 1883 and was part of Shin Hanga movement. He spent some time as an illustrator.

In 1923 a very large earthquake ruined much of his artwork.

In this clip we view a montage of works by Kawase Hasui:

Kawase Hasui passed away in 1953.

Price range information: Prints range from $1,000 to $10,000. The artist worked in watercolor and also painted originals in oils.

What I enjoy most about the work of this master printmaker is the locations of his work. For instance its great to see the imagery by French/ American artist Antoine Blanchard and the work of his daughters. Many times they painted the same location. Its true also of the American Hudson River artists.

Hasui painted a few famous locales, but for the most part he stuck to painting the more rural and quieter scenes of Japan that might be surpassed by the average tourist. Hasui offers us a great idea of day to day life in Japan.



Artist of the moment……..Kenzo Okada



Kenzo Okada was a Japanese printmaker born in Yokohama, Japan in the year 1902. Okada attended college in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. After two years of study Okada moved to Paris, France.

The artist is given credit as the first Japanese artist to be an highly sought after abstract expressionist.

Okada moved back to Japan in the late 1920s. When 1950 came Okada decided to move to New York City.

The artist was friends with many color field and abstract expressionist painters. One great friend was artist Mark Rothko.

Kenzo Okada passed away in 1982 at the age of 79 years old.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 for a print to $50,000 for an original work.

Much of the work of Okada reminds me of landscape paintings.



Artist of the moment………..Konen Uehara


Konen Uehara was a Japanese wood block print artist renown or his fantastic landscapes. Konen Uehara was born in Tokyo, Japan in the year 1878. Uehara attended the Japan Fine Arts Academy.

Uehara enjoyed mixing in western painting ideas in his work.

The artist was named to a position in government titled the secretary of the National Painting Cultivation Society. Whilst in this post he emphasized a Modernist approach to painting.

The artist was also employed by the Imperial Family. He also did some collaborations with publisher Watanabe Shozaburo.

Konen Uehara passed away in 1940.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

It enjoy the wonderful greys used by the artist in his skies.




Artist of the moment……Tadasky



Tadasky, also known as Tadasuke Kawayama is a fantastic Japanese artist renown for his paintings using the circle and a great use of color. His works are a blend of Op- Art and color field painting.

Tadasky was born in Nagoya, Japan in the year 1935.

In this very brief clip a view of the studio of the artist. Its a great to see the very large size of many of Tadasky’s work:

The artist paints with oils and acrylics.

price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $70,000.

Some influence on Tadasky include Josef Albers and the Bauhaus School.

What a great use of the circle! Another artist who works with circles is Amelia Caruso. Her work is not Op-Art based, but her freehand drawing and painting of circles and patterns of circles led her to receive some great commercial design contracts.



Artist of the moment…….Ay-O


Ay-O is a contemporary artist associated with the Fluxus movement and his “rainbow” style of painting. Ay-O was born in Takao, Iijima, Japan in the year 1931.

It was performance artist Yoko-Ono who introduced Ay-O to a leader in the Fluxus movement named George Maciunas. Ay-O joined the movement in 1963.

Ay-O is known as the Rainbow artist as much of his work deals with the gradations of the colors of the rainbow. In some large works he has done nearly 200 different gradations of color and light.

The artist is also known for his sculptures that are called “finger boxes.” These finger boxes must be seen and touched to be part of the art. On the inside of these boxes are materials including hair, cotton, nails, and sponges amongst other materials.

Below is a an example of Ay-O’s finger boxes.

What a creative artist! More on the Fluxus movement of anti-art coming up in the next few weeks!

Price range information: Sorry no price range information available.

In this clip we catch up with Ay-O at a Rainbow Banquet event that took place in 2012:



Artist of the moment……Chiura Obata



Chiura Obata was a wonderful Japanese painter and woodblock artist. Chiura Obata was born in Okayama prefecture Japan in the year 1885.

Chiura Obata was renown for his landscapes painted of the American National Park Yosemite. In this clip we view some of these treasures:

The artist was adopted by his uncle, who was a professional artist, when Obata was very young. From his early teens Obata was able to study and learn from many masters including his uncle.

Obata made his way to the United States in 1903 settling down in San Francisco where he did illustration work for the areas leading Japanese newspapers.

This artist also spent time in a Japanese internment camp.

For nearly two decades Obata taught at the collegiate level at the University of California at Berkeley. After he retired Obata would lead tour groups to Japan. Obata took charge of the tour and showed people the fantastic gardens and Japanese art.

Price range information: Prints start at $2,000. Originals in watercolors and ink can reach $25,000.



Artist of the moment…….Umetaro Azechi


Umetaro Azechi was a wonderful Japanese woodblock printmaker born on the island of Shikoku, Ehime prefecture, Japan in the year 1902. Azechi enjoyed working with the figure and also with mountains. Some of his favorite themes include mountain men with birds.

Azechi was born to lower class family that farmed. Azechi wanted to be an artist so he left the countryside for the big city lights of Tokyo, Japan. Whilst here he would meet a group of artists that all hung around with Unichi Hiratsuka. Hiratsuka encouraged Azechi to try his own hand at printmaking.

Umetaro Azechi passed away in 1999. He still enjoyed climbing mountains well into his eighties.

Price range information: Works range from $500 to $5,000.

The artist is a wonderful rags to riches story! Azechi took place in print biennials in Europe and Tokyo, Japan.

Its great that the artist found a subject he loved, mountains.




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