The Verne Collection
Japanese Prints Since 1900
Japanese Prints Since 1900
Daniel Kelly, Sarah Brayer, Kiyoshi Saito, Yuko Kimura, Hasui Kawase, Ito Shinsui, Hideo Takeda, Katsunori Hamanishi, Kata Kata, Ted Colyer
The Verne Collection was established in 1953. The private collection has been on loan to the Metropolitan Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Fogg at Harvard University.
The Verne Collection specializes in antique and contemporary Japanese prints and prints and paintings by American artists in Japan.
This first listing represents a few of the major Japanese and western printmakers dating from 1932 to the present.
Above Image: Daniel Kelly, Fish Out of Water (Detail)
Before leaving for Japan eighteen years ago he spent $1.95 on the only art book he could afford. At the back of this small book by Tokuriki was an invitation, “If the reader of this book has a chance to visit Kyoto, feel free to contact the author.” Daniel Kelly became Tokuriki’s pupil and subsequently his work has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum, and the Smithsonian.
Sarah Brayer was born in Rochester, New York, and has lived in Japan since 1979. Sarah has become deeply involved in making paperworks, a process in which an image is formed by pouring pigmented paper pulp onto a bamboo screen. The pulp is manipulated not with brushes, but by tilting the screen, spraying it with water, and using the hands as a drawing tool. Sarah states, "Part of what is so wonderful about working in the medium of paper is that the space of the work and the rhythm allow me to work in a stream of consciousness. The images are literally pouring out, and I don't know consciously where they're coming from. I'm able to take risks that I probably don't in everyday life. That is very liberating!"
The works of Kiyoshi Saito were influenced by the cultural legacies of northern Japan and also sometimes by its scarce landscape. A certain folksy-archaic roughness and a simultaneous expressionist abstraction give them a distinctive sense of contemporary printing. Saito also stayed true to the traditional Japanese techniques. He connected them, however, to modern two-dimensional geometric principles. Saito's work captures people with its compositional clarity and artistic simplicity. The bold abstraction and spontaneous design give his work a special quality. And it makes an extremely fresh and lively impression on those who are accustomed to showing a stamp/seal and a signature with the images - usually small tabloids. Motifs include everything from landscapes, portraits, and still lifes to animals and plants of all sorts.
Yuko Kimura won The First Agnes Gund Traveling Award in 1994 and was recently written up in the New York Times Art Review A Tasty Morsel of Two from the Smorgasbord of a Big Group Show. New York Times Art Critic Benjamin Genocchio writes, “large sprawling group exhibitions are like all you can eat restaurants. There is usually too much available and none of it is very good, but occasionally you hit upon some tasty and out of the ordinary like, Yuko Kimura’s installation. It is raw inventive, and trippy qualities that seem an embodiment of the condition of contemporary art now.
Known for his exquisite landscape prints, Kawase Hasui was one of the most prolific and talented shin hanga artists of the early 20th century. He designed hundreds of woodblock prints, mainly for the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. Hasui's earliest prints were destroyed in an the 1923 Kanto earthquake and they were never reprinted. Hasui's great pre-earthquake prints are extremely rare and are some of the most sought-after shin hanga prints. Hokusai, Hiroshige and Hasui are the three most important landscape woodblock print artists of Japan. Like Hiroshi Yoshida, many of his print designs were based on his watercolors and sketches of scenic places throughout Japan. In 1953, the Japanese government wanted to honor Hasui as a Living National Treasure but realizing the collaborative nature of his prints, they decided to commission a special woodblock print instead. This print, Snow at Zojoji Temple, was designated as an Intangible Cultural Treasure, a great honor for Hasui and for the craftsmen that made his prints possible.
Shinsui was born with the name of Ito Hajime to a middle-class Tokyo family. In 1911, Hajime was given an apprenticeship in the drawing department of the Printing Company. Soon afterwards he was introduced to Kaburagi Kiyokata, the renowned painter, and became Kiyokata's student. It was Kiyokata that gave Hajime his artist's name, Shinsui. Ito Shinsui is one of the great names of the Shin Hanga art movement. He and Goyo were the two most important printmakers of bijin - beautiful young women during the Shin Hanga period. In 1952, shortly after World War II, the Japanese government declared the print “Washing The Hair” by Ito Shinsui an Intangible National Treasure.
Takeda always claims he is a cartoonist and not an artst; but as a cartoonist, he must of necessity be a master of line. If one looks at the history of Japanese art, whether in the form of painting or prints or indeed calligraphy, it is clear that line has been perhaps the most important of skills. This is in contrast to the art of the West. Takeda, therefore ranks as a Japanese artist by definition.
Katsunori Hamanishi is one of the best at one of the most demanding of all printing methods, the mezzotint. Sometimes confusion arises because to the uninitiated, Hamanishi Katsunori sounds like Hamaguchi Yozo, often referred to as the worlds greatest living mezzotint artist. Aficionados of Japanese prints will recall Hamaguchi’s velvety black prints with a few cherries as the focal point. Hamanishi is 62 years old but is the present master in his field. He is what is called an “artist’s artist” because when other printmakers look at his fastidious and detailed work they are left in awe.
Kata Kata (Chie Takai and Takeshi Matsunaga)
Kata Kata creates original textile products by using katazome and chusen. “Our inspiration comes from every small matter we feel in our everyday life. They are usually animals , insects , plants , scenery...etc. Our biggest pleasure is adding our own stories to each work we create. We hope to provide people with fun and warm conversations over our work and also create their own imaginations.”
Ted Colyer was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1947. Upon graduating from Mt. Allison University in Fine Arts, he went to Japan to study with the famous traditional Japanese woodblock print artist Toshi Yoshida. In 1975, he began his professional career as a painter and printmaker and remained in Japan for 17 years. In 1988 he returned to Canada with his wife Takae and son Daniel and currently resides in Vancouver, B.C.