This book brings together a unique selection of works to explore the art of 20th century Japanese printmaking.
While the classic landscapes of Hokusai and Hiroshige and the beautiful women’s paintings of Utamaro have gained widespread recognition, Japanese printmaking of the 20th century has received quite little attention so far. Since the 1990s, however, museums and private collectors have shown a growing interest in Shin Hanga (“New Prints”): balanced designs printed on luxurious paper, with the finest pigments, and available only in small editions.
Shin Hanga prints differ from their traditional predecessors not so much in subject matter as in imagery. While the classically depicted women were stylized and idealized, their newer counterparts are based on real models that are individually recognizable and full of emotion. The modern landscapes, on the other hand, are impressionistic rather than figurative, and use a range of color shades to achieve very atmospheric results.