Item Number: 147428
Title: UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI : The Visionary of the Floating World
Author: Menegazzo, Rossella
Record created on 11/28/17
Description: Milan: Skira, 2018. 38 x 24cm., hardcover, 192pp., 160 color illus. Exhibition held at Palazzo della Permanente, Milano. English text.
Summary: Bizarre worlds, visionary landscapes, stunning women as well as kabuki actors, cats, carp, mythical and fantastical creatures along with legendary heroes, samurais and brigands. These are the protagonists of the work of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), one of the most important Japanese artists of the 19th century and probably the most creative and visionary artist of the Floating World of his time. His fame is linked to a series of colour woodblock prints illustrating the 108 heroes of Suikoden , a novel that became a best-seller in China and Japan at the end of the 18th century. Describing the exploits of a band of brigands fighting on behalf of a people ground down by government injustices and corruption, it is full of powerful, violent, armed characters with muscular bodies covered in tattoos who now inspire manga, anime, tattoo-artists and artists all over the world. Published to mark the first exhibition in Italy to be dedicated to this protagonist of modern oriental art, the monograph traces Kuniyoshi’s entire creative journey, exploring its rich, eclectic inner landscape through over one hundred and sixty works and the contributions of Rossella Menegazzo (Kuniyoshi. The Visionary of the Floating World 1797-1861) and Cristian Pallone (The Shui Hu Zhuan in China and Japan during the Edo period 1603-1868). The catalogue of works comprises five thematic sections dedicated to the subjects that led to Kuniyoshi’s fame, fragments of a multi-faceted universe that is both visionary and sophisticated. The Female Universe; Landscapes and views; Myths, Heroes and Warriors (The Heroes of the Suikoden); Games and Parodies; and Kuniyoshi’s Cats. These extraordinarily modern works reveal the rich creative vein and extreme originality of an artist who excels in combining the expressive powers of the warriors and heroes of Japanese tradition with the sophistication of his women’s portraits and landscapes and with his visionary monsters and imaginary creatures.
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