Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One of Unichi Hiratsuka's color landscapes

While teaching at an art camp this summer, a fellow teaching artist showed me a book about Unichi Hiratsuka, a contemporary Japanese woodblock artist who lived in the States for nearly half his life and died in 1997. Here is a link to a website created by his grandchildren and which provides many more images of his work and information about his prolific and notable career. I think this image, with the playful color and simplified geometry used to describe the landscape, shows how Hiratsuka masterfully merged traditional Japanese and modern Western art influences.

The top of a pink mountain peeks over the edge to spy on the river. Swaths of autumn trees and evergreens partially obscure the mountaintop's view. But it can be seen that the river is calm and clear. The surface jiggles and sways a bit as it works around rocks and bends in its natural flow toward the someday sea.

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