Japanese Printmaking Explored at Krannert Art Museum: "The Creative Print Movement in Japan" to Feature Illinois Faculty

  • CHAMPAIGN, Illinois
  • /
  • September 10, 2014

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Kitaoka Fumio. Ship at Rest, ca. 1950s Color woodcut. University of Illinois Purchase 1957-19-12

Visitors to Krannert Art Museum (KAM, http://kam.illinois.edu) are invited to explore Japanese printmaking by participating in a Gallery Conversation entitled “The Creative Print Movement in Japan,” Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the museum’s Asian Gallery. The event will be a discussion of the current exhibition With the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints in the Postwar Years and will feature Anne Burkus-Chasson, associate professor of Art History and East Asian Languages and Cultures and guest curator of With the Grain; Emmy Lingscheit, assistant professor of Printmaking; and Robert Tierney, associate professor of Japanese Literature in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative and World Literatures.

With the Grain complements the theme of war and conflict at Krannert Art Museum by showcasing woodcuts that helped to shape a postwar image of Japan in the minds of the American public,” states Burkus-Chasson, describing the exhibition and gallery conversation. “The exhibition concentrates on the work of sōsaku hanga printmakers from the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike traditional Japanese print designers, whose work is also represented in the exhibition, sōsaku hanga artists carved their own woodblocks and made their own impressions. The term sōsaku, ordinarily translated as ‘creative,’ was coined to denote a work that is original to its maker. Therefore, the work became known as ‘Creative Prints.’”

Burkus-Chasson calls the featured prints “innovative and striking” and notes that the work of sōsaku hanga artists was widely collected in the U.S. during and after the years of the Allied Occupation of Japan. “Their work, part of a centuries-long printmaking tradition, invites inquiries not only about the nature of ‘modernity’ but also about the transformative role that visual images play in making history.” Burkus-Chasson, Lingscheit, and Tierney will address the exhibition from their areas of expertise, engaging visitors and answering questions during the program.

With the Grain is an exhibition of modern Japanese woodcuts from the Krannert Art Museum’s permanent collection with additional prints on loan from Northern Illinois University Art Museum. It will remain on view through Dec. 23, 2014.

Julia Kelly
Krannert Art Museum

Krannert Art Museum
500 E. Peabody Drive, MC-592
Champaign, Illinois
About Krannert Art Museum

About Krannert Art Museum Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion (http://kam.illinois.edu) promotes a vibrant exchange of ideas in the visual arts. The museum’s rich permanent collection contains over 10,000 works of art dating from the fourth millennium BCE to the present, making Krannert Art Museum the second-largest general fine art museum in Illinois. A unit of the College of Fine + Applied Arts (http://faa.illinois.edu) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (http://illinois.edu), the museum is located at the corner of Sixth St. and Peabody Dr. in Champaign, Ill. Complete information on events, exhibitions, location and hours of operation is available via the museum website.

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