Japan Society: Masters of Ukiyo-e

The Japan Society is presenting an exhibit titled: Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints running until June. Info here. Prints from the masters including Hiroshige and Hokusai will be presented (everyone knows Hokusai’s tsunami wave with Mt. Fuji in the background) to show their impact on contemporary art, not only in Japan.

I was stunned when I first saw the influence that artists such as Hiroshige and Hokusai have on European artists such as van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Degas, and Toulousse-Lautrec. The van Gogh museum in Amsterdam shows the influence (Japanesery) quite clearly. I remember looking twice at both the Flowering Plumtree and The Bridge in the Rain, two “copies” of Hiroshige’s work done by van Gogh hanging in the gallery. It certainly provides a different context to works of the European masters of the 20th century and a different perspective on how best to interpret art history from this same period.