Contemporary Japanese Prints


 The world of contemporary Japanese prints is a confluence of techniques, cross-cultural exchange, and historical influences. The effect of Japanese aesthetics on European artists like Whistler, Degas, and van Gogh is well-known; but Japanese artists also borrowed many ideas from their contemporaries in the West. Key among these ideas was the concept of self-expression. Whereas the Japanese system was founded on the idea of hanmoto: collaboration between draftsman, block cutter, printer, and publisher; contemporary Japanese artists have sought to embody these roles within themselves as individuals, advocating works that are self-drawn, self-carved, and self-printed.

Contemporary Japanese Prints focuses primarily on the ssaku-hanga or Creative Prints movement which came into its own by the mid-20th century. It also offers a brief glimpse of 19th century ukiyo-e prints (traditional Japanese “pictures of the floating world”) as well as the early 20th century shin-hanga or New Prints movement, both of which set the stage for the emergence of sosaku-hanga.

This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of Barbara and Eric Ottervik, whose passion for collecting contemporary Japanese prints is reflected in multiple gifts to the Lehigh University Art Galleries / Teaching Museum collection.

Contemporary Japanese Prints continues until May 25, 2018 in the Dubois Gallery, Maginnes Hall. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Barbara and Eric Ottervik. Please join us for a reception celebrating all of this semester’s exhibitions at the LUAG Main Gallery on February 8, 2018 from 6 – 8 PM.

Image: Yoshiharu Kimura, Red Feather, 1974