NEW YORK – Art lovers can enjoy a double dose of beautiful Japanese images on Sunday, Aug. 27. Jasper52 will present its Exclusive Japanese Woodblock Prints auction starting at noon Eastern, to be followed by a second session an hour later. The opening session consists of 58 premium-quality Japanese woodblock prints, both vintage originals and contemporary productions; while the 1 p.m. sale features excellent prints at a more-affordable price point. Absentee and Internet live bidding for both sales is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction opens with a View of Miho Bay (above) by the renowned Ando Hiroshige in the form of a fan. This impression is from the original first edition created in 1845-46. The fully spread fan measures about 9 1/2 inches by 14 1/2 inches. Ando Hiroshige was a ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that genre of Japanese art, which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. He is famous for his landscapes.
Hasui Kawase (1883-1957) was a Japanese artist and printmaker who became a prominent figure in the shin-hanga (“new prints”) movement of the early 20th century. This movement was influenced by European Impressionism, and its imagery focused on landscapes, women and nature. His Dusk at Ushibori (below), is an excellent example. This first edition, numbered 189/300, was published in 1930 by Sakai & Kawaguchi.
Takehisa Yumeji became famous for his paintings, prints and books expressing the particular feeling of the Taisho democracy (1912-1926) and Taisho romanticism. Next to classical depictions of young women wearing kimonos, his subjects are also depicted as a type of “modern” girl (moga) dressed in western clothes. The influence of the Art Deco style, which found its way to Japan in the 1920s, is also noticeable in Yumeji’s work. Due to the artist’s death at the age of 49, much of his work was published posthumously, as is the case of the print in the Jasper52 auction. Kuroi neko (Black cat) is a limited edition numbered 69/150, which was published by Kato Junki in the 1950s.
Contemporary examples of Japanese woodblock prints in the auction include a limited-edition work by Daniel Kelly, an American based in Kyoto, Japan. His pencil-signed and dated 2009 print Camellia is numbered 66/90.
Jasper52’s second session will follow at 1 p.m., featuring excellent-quality Japanese woodblock prints at attractive price points.
A standout in the second sale is Katsuhira Tokuski’s woodblock print titled Kamado (Cooking Stove), which depicts the interior of a Japanese dwelling. This 1939 print from Tokuski’s Customs of Akita series was self-published by the artist.
Ikeda Eisen (1790-1848) was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist who specialized in bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women). His woodblock print titled Geisha of the Eastern Capital is a prime example. It is from the original edition done in 1825 by Sano-ki and comes from the Huguette Berès collection, Paris.
The second Jasper52 Japanese woodblock prints auction, which starts at 1 p.m. Eastern time, includes 115 excellent quality examples of the medium.