Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Artists

News Image Recent work in the medium of contemporary print-making, or multiples, by thirteen Japanese artists will be on view in the Martin Art Gallery, June 13 – August 2.

 Wednesday, May 22, 2013 04:08 PM

Historically, Japanese print-making embodies a revered and impressive tradition that evokes mental images of iconic prints by 19th-century masters, Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige.  Their use of diagonal composition, and exacting craftsmanship inspired and profoundly influenced European painters and print-makers of that era and became forever embedded in Western art production, study, and appreciation.

Ironically, Western art in the past 40 – 50 years has significantly informed the work of contemporary Japanese printmakers.  Under that influence and others, this artistic baker’s dozen has moved well beyond the time-honored imagery of Hokusai and Hiroshige in unexpected, innovative and compelling ways; skillfully employing non-traditional materials, including a cicada shell, digitally altered photography, and fabric.  Emerging printing techniques allow them additional ways to create powerful fusions of two- and three- dimensions—prints that are sculptural.  However, even while exploring the very edges of innovation, the artists remain firmly grounded in the Japanese tradition of thoughtful and impeccable craftsmanship and presentation.

The Martin Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the efforts of the curators of Redefining the Multiple--Professor Hideki Kimura, Kyoto City University of the Arts and Sam Yates, Director of the Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to bring together this thoroughly redefined approach to printmaking.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon – 8:00 p.m.; closed July 4.  More information: 484.664.3467.