NEW YORK – Japanese woodblock prints have a long and storied history that is rightly tangled up in the genre of Japanese art known as ukiyo-e, which flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. The powerful allure of the best examples still casts a spell, just like they did on the Impressionists, the post-Impressionists, and generations of artists who followed. Their innovative compositions, appealing coloration, and intriguing subject matter continue to draw new collectors.
First among the highlights of the sale is Village of Plums (Ume no Mura), a 1951 print self-published by Toshi Yoshida. He was the son of Hiroshi Yoshida, a printmaker who focused on landscapes. Hiroshi controlled Toshi’s artistic development almost completely until he passed away in 1950. Village of Plums captures Toshi Yoshida at a turning point; one year later, he would break entirely with the subject matter embraced by his father, but in 1951, he saw the wisdom in creating a series of 17 landscape works to sell to Americans stationed in Japan after the war. The print, which he signed in pencil, carries an estimate of $550-$700.
Born in Hiroshima in 1949, Hiroto Norikane graduated from the Sokei Academy of Fine Arts and made a name for himself as a mixed-media printer who combines techniques to produce his images. In 2021 he created Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons via etching and aquatint. Jasper52 is offering number 6 from a limited edition of 50 with an estimate of $600-$700.
Contributing the last of the three sale highlights is Utagawa Hiroshige with Hakone, an 1834 image from his Fifty-three stations of the Tokaido series; Hakone is the tenth of the fifty-three. This particular print is a 20th century impression from recarved blocks, and carries an estimate of $300-$350.
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