Before I say anything, I must first link to the amazing exhibition that is happening at the Toledo Museum of Art where I had the amazing experience to see these prints first hand in an almost entirely complete collection. It was breathtaking and awe inspiring and every other synonym man can think of to describe something that is superbly done. The show runs until January 1st. Of all my tours of the world and the dozens of art museums I have been to in those travels, this was one of the best shows I have ever seen – seeing these pieces in their near immaculate condition was amazing enough – but then to see hundreds upon hundreds of them was simply overwhelming.
One of the most prominent artists in the Yoshida Family (a 4 generation, 8 person family of artist all running through the same family line), Hiroshi was trained in classical Western style painting in his early years due to his natural ‘knack’ for artistry. It wasn’t until he was almost 40 did he begin to take up classical Japanese woodblock printing, thus his incredible attention to colors, atmosphere, composition and balance. These are like paintings carved in wood – some of the most stunning collection of realistic prints and by far some of the best executed carving I have ever seen. He is also known for utilizing the same carved blocks over and over but with different color combinations to better show his understanding of time of day and color. It is almost like he enjoys showing off how much he knows, but I’m not complaining.
No official website, but here is a good resource: http://www.hanga.com/bio.cfm?ID=1