Walsh Gallery

Contemporary Japanese Printmakers I


Dates: Jun 14 2002 - Jul 27 2002

In the first of three exhibitions of contemporary Japanese prints, Walsh Gallery opens "Printer's Choice" on June 14th, featuring 50 works by eleven artists. Gallery Director Julie Walsh first went to Japan 4 years ago on a mission to find the best art being made. "What I found" she says, "was an incredibly vibrant printmaking scene. I was moved by the freshness of the work combined with the artists' technical mastery." After exhibiting the work of four renowned printmakers, she invited the four, Yoshisuke Funasaka, Michiko Hoshino, Tadayoshi Nakabayashi and Tetsuya Noda to choose a group of their contemporaries for a show at Walsh Gallery. Work by the four master printmakers will be shown alongside the work of the seven artists they chose for the exhibition. An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 14th from 5-9 pm at the Gallery.

While Japan has a well known tradition of woodblock printing, it was not until the mid-twentieth century that modern printmaking techniques became important in contemporary Japanese art. Many of Japan's best printmakers have come through the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, which began offering printmaking classes through its Painting Department in 1965 and later created a separate printmaking department. Mr. Noda, Ms. Hoshino and Mr. Nakabayashi have all been senior faculty members there.

Space prevents a description of the work by all eleven artists. Their names follow, along with descriptions of the work of the four master printers.

Tetsuya Noda's work became famous in the late 60's for his diary pieces. He selected ordinary occurrences in his family's life, like his young daughter changing her dress, or a cropped image of his wife in a button down shirt with the artist's arm touching hers. His prints are usually made with muted tones that evoke a moment in time. Michiko Hoshino's prints explore the world of Jorge Luis Borges. She is fascinated by themes of the passing of time and the possibilities of the collection of all man's knowledge. Although Ms. Hoshino used to be a colorist, her prints are now monochromatic allowing her to deal with more formal concerns such as subject and spatial relationships. Tadayoshi Nakabayashi's prints offer an unusual look at the landscape. His prints focus on the perspective of what might be under our feet as we ramble through the woods. His obsessively recorded prints document pine needles and other vegetation from the perspective of someone looking down. His works are also monochromatic. Mr. Yoshisuke Funasaka's prints in neon shades confront the possibilities of exploring a simple shape or image in a series. He has a great sense of humor which is embedded in his manipulation of his subject matter.