KIYOSHI SAITO, a colour woodblock print, signed.
"Daikokuten". I 39 x 26,5 cm.
Not examined out of frame. Yellowed.
Kiyoshi Saito (1907–1997) was one of the creative artists of the twentieth-century Japanese print movement known as sosaku hanga, “original creative
print.” The term was coined to distinguish this new work from the traditional Japanese prints"ukiyo-e" and the more recent shin hanga (new prints), both of which relied on the system where a collaboration among the artist, the block carver, the printer, and the publisher, "hanmoto" . Saito and his fellow sosaku hanga artists believed that just one person should make the original design, carve the woodblock, and draw the print. This meant the artist was the sole creator from start to finish, motivated entirely by a desire for self-expression and art for art’s sake.Saito was the first sosaku hanga printmaker to become very popular in the West and is credited with a large share of the success in making modern Japanese prints popular the world over. The art of Kiyoshi Saito takes us into a modest Japanese village, rows of traditional woodframe houses separated by persimmon trees and flower gardens. People come and go on foot, and for long stretches of the year snow piles heavily on roadsides and rooftops. In Aizu, where Saito was born in 1907, little had changed as the rest of the nation underwent rapid modernization. A craving for this sort of tradition, wedded to a powerful creative impulse, led the young artist to leave his sign-making business and devote his life to art. He learned oil painting, but before long he gave it up in favor of printmaking. Working with unconventional tools, determined to master all steps of a craft commonly divided among drafting, carving, and printing specialists, and unfamiliar with the practice of color separation, Saito began making his one-of-a-kind prints.
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