Japanese Woodblock Print, 1970s, self pulblished by Tomoo Inagaki, pencil signed and titled lower margin
SIZE IN INCHES: 22.25 x 14.25 inches
TOMOO INAGAKI (1902-1980) was born in Tokyo. In 1923 he graduated at the Okura Commercial High School. From 1923 Tomoo Inagaki studied woodblock making and printing with Kôshirô Onchi and Un'ichi Hiratsuka, and as early as 1924 he started exhibiting with most current woodblock groups, Nihon Hanga Kyôkai among them, and published in the major magazines (Hanga a.o.).As with most print artists Tomoo was not able to make a living solely from print making and worked as a teacher, teaching at the Commercial Artists Association School from 1930 until 1951 and then the Japan Advertising Art School, and as a freelance designer, operating his own design business Zuhansha1 until WWII.
Best known for his stylized modernist prints of cats, the first of which date to 1951, Tomoo’s earlier works included landscapes, townscapes and still life. In discussing his work in 1956, the artist told Oliver Statler “I like some qualities and reject others in Matisse and Piccaso, but, above all, I was influenced by Onchi and Hiratsuka.” In his carving, Tomoo chooses to use a wide range of chisels, with emphasis on the flat chisel. Due to post-war shortages of woodblock materials, Tomoo also created stencil prints for a while. After the war, Tomoo was able to dedicate his time to printmaking and exhibiting widely in international print exhibitions such as those held in Paris, Tokyo and Lugano.Tomoo Inagaki passed away on May 14, 1980 at the Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital from a brain tumor.