The Easel

2nd July 2024

Yoshida: Three Generations of Japanese Printmaking

Despite the ubiquity of Hokusai’s Great Wave, Japanese woodblock printing traditionally focused on urban life and its celebrities – Kabuki stars, wrestlers, courtesans. How odd that an artform from a closed feudal society, with its flattened perspective and planes of colour, helped form modern art in distant Europe. Despite its illustrious pedigree, enthusiasm about this show is muted. One critic ascribes this to its downplaying of social context, namely ignoring “the filthy mess of reality beyond art’s enchanted garden”.