NEW YORK, NY.- Scholten Japanese Art
is suffering from an embarrassment of riches during this Asia Week. In addition to the gallery presentation, MULTIPLE MASTERS: Modern Prints & Paintings, a gathering of early modern works by masterful artists who produced paintings and prints, Scholten will also be offering Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints from the Shin Collection, a simultaneous exhibition of golden age figure prints of the late 18th century and magnificent 19th century landscapes.
The MULTIPLE MASTERS exhibition presents a select group of works by major artists following the intertwined shin hanga (lit. new print) and sosaku hanga (lit. creative print) movements, both approaches seeking to revitalize Japanese printmaking in the modern era.
Works by the painter and print artist Kitano Tsunetomi (1880-1947) include a complete set of four prints from the scarce 1918 series, Four Seasons of the Licensed Quarter (Kuruwa no shunju), an early contribution to the shin hanga movement. The exhibition will also include an impression of Tsunetomis most famous print, the ethereal Heron Maiden (Sagi Musume), which the artist issued in 1925.
Accompanying these iconic prints is an original painting by Tsunetomi titled Bride (Hanayome, ca. 1930, detail), executed in ink and color on silk, which was formerly in the collection of Patricia Salmon, an important collector and dealer of Japanese art who was the driving force behind the 2002 landmark exhibition Taisho Chic, organized by the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Another artist whose paintings are well-represented in this show is Torii Kotondo (1900-1975). By serendipity, three paintings of beauties sold by the gallery to different collectors over fifteen years ago are reunited in this exhibition. Originally album leafs, the paintings were mounted sympathetically as hanging scrolls and published together in 1995. Widely regarded as one of the most important designers of beauty prints in the first half of the 20th century, these three paintings remind viewers that Kotondo was a first-rate painter as well.
Additional prints and paintings are by Tsuchiya Koitsu (1870-1949), Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), Uehara Konen (1887-1940), Hirano Hakuho (1879-1957), Oda Kazuma (1881-1956), Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), Kishio Koizumi (1893-1945), Yoshikawa Kanpo (1894-1979), Yamakawa Shuho (1898-1944), Ito Shinsui (1898-1972), Kobayakawa Kiyoshi (1899-1948) and others.
And in fully embracing the theme of multiples, the gallery will exhibit two impressions side-by-side of Hasuis famous snow scene published in 1925, Twenty Views of Tokyo: Shiba Zojoji Temple, which has surged in value in recent years, accompanied by a deep dive into connoisseurship considerations regarding this highly coveted image.
In dialogue with the Multiple Masters exhibition, the Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints from the Shin Collection reverberates back to the source-code of floating world imagery. Assembled by the audacious young gallerist, Hong Gyu Shin of the contemporary Shin Gallery in New York, the selection of ukiyo-e prints collected (many while studying art conservation at university) are a testament to an innate discerning eye. Included in the group are remarkably preserved triptychs depicting beauties of the type associated with the highpoint of 18th century Japanese print production known as the golden age of ukiyo-e. The exceedingly rare print, Viewing Cherry Blossoms at Asuka Hill, from circa 1789-90 by Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829) is a quintessential example of the type.
An equally rare print from circa 1798 illustrating a striking half-length double actor portrait from an untitled series by Utagawa Toyokuni (1744-1815) depicting the actors Onoe Matsusuke (1844-1815) as Jasoku and Nakamura Noshio II (1759-1800) in the female role of Yukinoto.
One of the most notable works in the Shin Collection is an anthology of verses on the New Year titled Mens Stomping Dances (Otoko toka) published by the great Tsutaya Juzaburo in spring of 1798, featuring double-page illustrations by ukiyo-e luminaries such as Hosoda Eishi, Kitao Shigemasa (1739-1820), Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).
The Shin Collection will also include fine works by Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770), Katsukawa Shuncho (fl. ca. 1780-1795), Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), and a selection of superior landscapes by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) that includes a breathtaking impression of Eight Views in Omi Province: Night Rain at Karasaki, ca. 1835.