The Chazen Museum of Art
will present an exhibition of Japanese color woodcuts by Kawase Hasui, drawn primarily from its permanent collection.
Kawase Hasui began designing woodblock prints in the early twentieth-century, a time when lithography was gaining prominence and urbanization was changing the landscape. His images of traditional Japanese landscape and of architecture, using long-established medium and subject matter, appealed to national and international audiences. He portrays a timeless Japan and the fleeting effects of weather, light, and shadow that transform a landscape from moment to moment. His images usually avoid the modern world, though some prints reveal a tiny figure in modern dress or the smokestack silhouette on the horizon.
Hasui continued to design prints through World War II. His inexpensive, attractive works were popular among troops and visitors to postwar Japan. His substantial body of work grew to more than 600 prints over his long career. In 1953, the Japanese government named him a National Living Treasure for his lifelong dedication to the color woodcut. The exhibition Kawase Hasui Color Woodcuts will draw from the Chazens fine collection of Japanese prints, which includes forty-seven prints by Hasui, and will span his career.