Friday, November 11, 2011

Ukiyoe at the Portland Art Museum

Huge exhibit of Japanese woodblock prints going on now at the Portland Art Museum.  It's called "The Artist's Touch, the Craftsman's Hand."  They have a magnificent collection - not quite MFA-level, perhaps, but pretty damn good - and they've got a very large selection on display right now.  More than enough to intoxicate you, if you're at all prone to near-drunken ecstasy when looking at these things.  I am.

What's really nice about this show - I mean, beyond the amazing numbers of rare (even unique) and magnificent prints - is how it's arranged.  Rather than a chronological approach, they've laid it out thematically - a few rooms of kabuki-related prints, a few rooms of beauty prints.  And so rich is the collection that this gives them the chance to feature some really unusual stuff.  There's a whole room of prints depicting the 1923 Kantō Earthquake, for example. 

In short, it's extremely educational, as well as being just damn beautiful.  We've only been once, and for not nearly long enough;  we're going to swing an overnight trip sometime soon.  It's a show worth immersing yourself in.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Wonderful colors and organic natural forms. Reminds me of a painting like Rainy landscape, by Russian painter Kandinsky, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWL66, that I saw at wahooart.com, from where one can order a canvas print of it. Really good place to browse the painter’s work and other work similar to your style of painting.