Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Out of the Past

Spent an overcast weekend afternoon at LACMA with the "Ming Masterpieces" on loan from the Shanghai Museum through June 2, 2013.  Beautiful reflective silk paintings in the court style were displayed with care in a softly lit gallery.  I found myself totally absorbed by them.  Apparently this genre of painting is found rarely in American collections.  Such spaciousness in the images.

Color woodblock print.  LACMA

What also drew my attention in another wing were the newly acquired Japanese woodblock prints of Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) "A Tour of Waterfalls in the Provinces".  They felt modern and energetic with his stylized approach to water and other details.  Alongside this new series were a selection of Hokusai prints from LACMA's permanent collection, including the well known "Red Fuji" and "The Great Wave".  I am sure you know the prints I speak of.  I appreciate the balance between dynamic and serene elements  ...And of course, the amazing quality of the printmakers' work.  I assume the printing was done by a staff of printers and not Hokusai himself...do you know?  Something to research....  This exhibit runs until July 28, 2013.  I recommend both of them!

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