Free Seminar: The Art of Modernism in Japanese Woodblock Prints 2/25

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Floating World Gallery‘s free seminar series continues with Bright Lights, Big City: The Art of Modernism in Japanese Woodblock Prints.

Japan’s First Taste of Modernism Explored

Shizuo Fujimori (1891-1943) Ginza at Night, 1933 Woodblock print

Closed off for centuries, Japan’s ports were opened to Western trade in the mid-19th century. This opening, as well as the extensive rebuilding effort that took place in the aftermath of the great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, propelled Tokyo and the rest of the country into the modern age and onto the world stage. Western technology and cultural values quickly worked their way into Japanese society. This transformation inspired Japanese artists to create work that illustrated astounding technological advances while capturing the psychological toll modernity imposed on society.  Floating World Gallery will discuss the work created by these artists in the seminar Bright Lights, Big City: The Art of Modernism in Japanese Woodblock Prints on Saturday, February 25 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

This seminar, led by Director of Exhibitions Elias Martin, will examine the early period of modern Japanese prints, from 1904 to 1959. The themes of westernization, modernism, and militarism, as well as the sociological concerns of urban planning, identity and gender will be explored through the work of over 40 artists, including Shizuo FujimoriKobayakawa Kiyoshi, and Koshiro Onchi.

About Floating World Gallery

Floating World Gallery, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, takes its name from the English translation of “ukiyo-e”, referring to images of an evanescent, impermanent world of fleeting beauty. The gallery has been one of the world’s leading dealers in Japanese art for more than 20 years, offering private collectors and institutions the highest quality works of art.

Koshiro Onchi (1891-1955) Motion Picture, 1929 Woodblock print


Floating World Gallery opened its new 8,200 square-foot gallery space in October 2009 and is now actively engaged in helping to educate the public and increase awareness of the rich world of modern Japanese art. Recent, critically acclaimed exhibitions have included Creating What Has Never Been, an exhibition of Japanese post-war paintings and contemporary ceramics (Sept. 24 -Nov. 19, 2010), Behind Paper Walls: Self-Printed Masterworks by Jun’ichiro Sekino (Dec. 3, 2010 – Jan. 28, 2011), Brush as Blade: Paintings and Prints by Toko Shinoda (Feb. 4 – April 1, 2011) and Mountain Shadows: A Selection of Contemporary Masterworks (Oct. 21 – Dec. 2, 2011).

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information call 312-587-7800, fax 312-575-3565 or email artwork@floatingworld.com.


For more, check out New City’s review of Bright Lights, Big City.