20th Century Japanese Prints by Hashiguchi Goyo of Beautiful Women
410-547-9000, ext. 277
Hashiguchi Goyo’s Beautiful Women
May 19–August 12, 2012
The Walters Art Museum
600 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
The brief career of Hashiguchi Goyo, beloved and respected as one of Japan’s greatest shin hanga, or new woodblock print artists, occupies a crucial turning point in the history of Japanese print making. The 12 prints in this exhibition look back to Japan’s traditional woodblock printing industry while laying the foundation for the modern print tradition that would dominate Japanese print making during the 20th century.
While some 20th-century Japanese print artists followed their Western counterparts by creating prints entirely on their own, Hashiguchi Goyo adhered to Japanese tradition. He employed carvers and printers to work under his careful supervision, resulting in refined printed images of extremely high quality. Each color, line and texture visible in these prints required a separate precisely carved wooden block, and the printer had to align the printing paper onto as many as 20 separate blocks to pick up the differently colored inks in just the right locations (a process called registration). Goyo rejected many of the prints that his team produced because of slight flaws in registration, lack of color uniformity or smudging. Few artists after Goyo’s time enlisted the work of the many people necessary to produce traditional prints. Instead, they created works known as sosaku hanga, or self-made prints.
Goyo only produced 14 different prints before his untimely death in 1921. Of these, eight were images of beautiful women. All eight of these prints, two pencil drawing, two posthumously finished prints and some variant prints will be displayed to highlight the distinctly 1920s look and feel of Goyo’s art.
Hours are Wednesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Hashiguchi Goyo, Woman Combing Her Hair, March 1920, woodblock print on paper, 17 9/16” x 12 7/8”, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Gift from the Erna and Charles Bertram Hoffberger Collection, 2011 (95.880)
General museum information: 410-547-9000 or www.thewalters.org
# # #