I was in Tokyo for New Year’s and spotted a poster for this show. Can’t wait to see it next month on the 4th! http://kuniyoshi.exhn.jp/index.html
Kuniyoshi: Spectacular Ukiyo-e Imagination
Mori Arts Center Gallery / Saturday, 17 December 2011 – Sunday, 12 February 2012
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) was an artist who applied his boundless imagination, his innovative design skills, his fantastic, totally unexpected concepts, and his demonstrable gift for drawing to create an enormous number of compelling and fascinating works that transcend the rubrics of ukiyo-e. That vast ouevre is the focus of keen attention not only among art historians and ukiyo-e fans throughout the world but also from those engaged in design, young and old. Highly appreciated internationally, Kuniyoshi has been recognized in recent years with exhibitions in London and New York that have generated an enormous response.
What makes Kuniyoshi so fascinating, above all, is the vast, indeed infinite, world of his imagination. His skill at giving visual expression to tales of fantasy and adventure is without peer; he was truly Edo’s ultimate graphic designer. His choice of subject matter and genre was also boundless. Warriors, actors, beautiful women, landscapes – he excelled in all those traditional genres but also created comic prints, prints that function as news reports, pictures of children, and anywhere else his fancy took him. Since Kuniyoshi also produced many series, his vast output includes many brilliant examples that have never been exhibited. Even today, new Kuniyoshi masterpieces are still being discovered, a century and a half after his death.
This exhibition, which commemorates Kuniyoshi’s death a hundred and fifty years ago, presents about 420 works, including not only the masterpieces already associated with him but also excellent works never before exhibited and marvelous newly discovered works. The aim is to present, with new clarity, a full picture of his ouevre. As the largest Kuniyoshi exhibition to date, it should provide a superb opportunity to savor to the full the fascination that Kuniyoshi still exercises.