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"A New Way Forward: Japanese Hanga in the 20th Century" opens at the USC Pacific Asia Museum
ITŌ Shinsui (1898–1972), Rouge from the Series “Twelve Figures of Modern Beauty,” 1922, Ink, color and mica on paper, Gift of Margaret Moore, 2008.9.4 © USC Pacific Asia Museum.
PASADENA, CA.- The last quarter of the 19th century brought profound changes to Japan. In one generation, a feudal society became a modern nation. Japanese art, too, underwent important transformations. Publications, exhibitions and artists’ travels introduced new theories. These approaches often clashed with “traditional” artistic concepts, practices and styles. The woodblock print medium exemplifies many of these tensions in Japanese society and art.

As old ukiyo - e (pictures of the floating world) stagnated, in the new century artists and publishers sought to reinvigorate printmaking as an artistic expression and viable business. There emerged two camps with dramatically different attitudes. Artists in the shin hanga (new prints) movement continued the tradition of creating collaboratively—working with carver and printer under direction of the publisher. They sought to combine traditional print techniques and subjects, however, with a style derived from Western academic drawing. Shin hanga first captivated American consumers in the 1920s and 1930s, then again after World War II. Artists in the s ō saku hanga (creative prints) movement embraced the European idea of the artist as heroic creator—carving and printing their own designs. In the manner of the avant-garde, they treated form and color abstractly. S ō saku hanga flourished in the post-war period, thanks in large part to American patronage.

A New Way Forward presents shin hanga and s ō saku hanga through “case study” comparisons of perennially popular subjects such as bijin (beauties), urban space, religious icons, village life and Japan’s colonial empire. These comparisons elucidate how the artists imagined modern Japan within the dictates of their respective print movements. The exhibition presents major shin hanga artists including Kawase Hasui and Ito Shinsui, and Kiyoshi Saito and Munakata Shiko, pillars of sōsaku hanga, in complete six-month rotations.





Today's News

April 26, 2014

Major Lucio Fontana exhibition opens at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Bavarian State Painting Collections announce long-term collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation

National Museum of Women in the Arts exhibits works by artist Meret Oppenheim

Mnuchin Gallery in New York announces Casting Modernity: Bronze in the XXth Century

Exhibition of nine works from 1959 to 1966 by Robert Mallary opens at Allan Stone Projects

Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art exhibits African weapons collection for first time

American artist Jill Magid's first solo exhibition with RaebervonStenglin opens in Zurich

Three new species of Yellow-Shouldered bats found in museum collections

The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum to display extremely rare philatelic gem

Spanish scientists launch radar hunt for Spanish Golden Age writer Miguel de Cervantes

First solo exhibition in New York City of artist Will Clift's work opens at Gerald Peters Gallery

Bonhams announces highlights from its May 13 Contemporary Art Sale in New York

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces new developments in museum relations

Ruvan Wijesooriya and Albert Grøndahl open exhibitions at Simon/Neuman2 Gallery

Rachel Whiteread creates new cover for London's pocket Tube map

Paris Photo Los Angeles opens to public today after successful preview

"A New Way Forward: Japanese Hanga in the 20th Century" opens at the USC Pacific Asia Museum

Exhibition of painting and sculpture by Californian artist DeWain Valentine opens at Almine Rech

The CU Art Museum welcomes new Director: Sandra Q. Firmin

On view at the Corcoran: Rineke Dijkstra's 'The Krazyhouse'

Exhibition of new paintings by Lea Fisher opens at Samuel Lynne Galleries

First major museum survey of work by Jennifer Bartlett opens at The Parrish Art Museum

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