Saturday, August 04, 2007

Japanese 20th C.

Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959)

What was it about the planet during this period ?

My favorite generation of European sculptors
was born in this era --
and that was the generation of these
Japanese masters as well.

Kitaoji Rosanjin

Rosanjin ("foolish mountain man") was quite a character.

He's legendary as a chef,
as well as for his ceramics
(indeed -- he taught himself ceramics
to adorn the tables of his famous restaurant)

And he's famous as a font of wisdom:

"People of understanding understand at a word.
People of no understanding never understand no matter how you tell them."

Kitaoji Rosanjin

... and he did brush painting
(beginning his career as a professional calligrapher)

Kitaoji Rosanjin

And did I mention that he was married five times
and collected 10,000 pieces of ceramic ?

Morita Shiryu 1912-1988), "Dragon" 1965

This enormous "avant garde calligraphy"
was contemporary with the ABX painters in America --
and there's evidence that Shiryu and his friends were looking
at Franz Kline.

It doesn't seem to me that's it's so
far removed from historical Asian calligraphy
as to be called "avant garde" --- but what do I know ?

Morita Shiryu (1912-1988)

Is this ABX ?

I think it's too gorgeous

Hamada Shoji (1894-1978)

An early member of the Japanese Folk Art movement (mingei)

Hamada Shoji, square vase (1960)

Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966)

Kawai was one of the founders
of the Japanese Folk Art Museum in 1936

Kawai Kanjiro, tea bowl (1940)


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