Sunday, 7 June 2009

Kuniyoshi so contemporary....

....With only a day to spare, Alicia and I squeezed in to a packed Royal Academy to see the Utagawa Kuniyoshi show. I wasn't au fait with Kuniyoshi's wood block prints at all - only attracted to the exhibition by the corresponding poster promoting it.

But I am so, so glad to have seen it. The prints are absolutely incredible, with colour and intricate detail belying the process in by which they are created. Another thing is how startlingly contemporary they remain, despite the majority of the work completed before 1850. Mostly inspired by Chinese mythology, Kuniyoshi also created landscapes and portraits of Geisha's and actors.

The show ends today, so I highly recommend you buy the book - the reproductions don't do the originals much justice, but it is a good record of a great artist.

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