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Novel Growth No. 2

Yoshida Masaji (1917–1971)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Novel Growth No. 2

by Yoshida Masaji, 1958

Ground No. 3
IHL Cat. #1231

About This Print

Source: The Modern Japanese Print - An Appreciation, James Michener, Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1968, p. 48-49

James Michener refers to Masaji's prints as "mysterious" in nature and divides his work into "four clear categories."  Novel Growth No. 2 falls into the third category, as described by Michener, as follows:

Masaji’s third kind of print formed a radical departure and was occasioned, as such new forms ought to be, by a personal crisis within the conscience of the artist.  The prints appear mostly in purple and black and always with a swarm of closely knit lines…  The designs are tortured, involuted, brooding, and the mysterious colors effectively represent the spirit of the work.  These are most distinguished prints, not widely favored by collectors but cherished by those who know the artist and who are concerned with the artistic problems inherent in the modern school of woodblock prints.  What dark experience of the soul called forth this series I do not know, but during its issue Masaji’s son died, and the prints form a fitting memorial to this tragedy, although they were not originally called forth by it.  Connoisseurs of the exquisite in art should know these prints, for they are some of the most expert issued in Japan, veritable masterpieces of printing and color.  They exhibit no quick allure and one comes to them quietly after having known other prints that on the surface are much more enticing; but when one has discovered their quiet mastery one recognizes in them a milestone in contemporary Japanese woodblocks.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1231 (note: this print replaces IHL Cat. #213, print 11/200 of the edition)
 Title Novel Growth no. 2 (新しい発生 No.2)
 Series n/a
 Yoshida Masaji (1917–1971)
 signed “Masaji Yoshida” in English, lower right
 Seal none
 Date 1958
 Edition 141 of 200
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good- slight toning noticeable along edge of margin; two pieces of mounting tape verso top
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 H x W Paper 22 x 17 3/4 in. (45.4 x 25.7 cm)
 H x W Image 17 3/4 X 14 3/4 in. (85.1 x 55.9 cm)
 Collections This Print Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 1963.30.2850 (edition 82/200); Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro, 1982.3347; Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.2005.217.26 (edition 163/200)
 Reference Literature