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Early Spring Garden

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Early Spring Garden

by Takahashi Rikio, 1977

IHL Cat. #198

About This Print

Source:"The World of Rikio Takahashi – The Spirit of Wood,” Masayoshi Homma, in Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Prints, Abe Publishing LTD. (1998) pp.18-21.
"Beginning in the mid-sixties, a white space appeared aroundthe motif reminiscent of the blank areas in ink painting.  In theseventies this margin was even more evident, enhancing the light,bright qualities of the print.   In the seventies, this marginal spacecame to have more obvious structural features.  First, a rigidly squaregeometric form emerged..oftensurrounded by empty space.  These forms first appeared in the Niwaseries which was based on Kyoto motif, so I would guess that the squarerepresented a walled garden.  If so, the delicate lines and planes,which cluster around the square like theatrical props, probablyindicate trees, ponds, and rock formations in the garden.  Thisimpression is reinforced by an amorphous form reminiscent of a singleChinese character made with heavy brush strokes which is placed underthe square.  It creates a balanced contrast with the square above it. I see it as a symbol of the living, bustling city outside the enclosedgarden.  This composition of a square and a ideograph was repeated in aseries of prints and became a definite structural pattern inTakahashi’s work."

This print does not appear in the artist's catalogue raisonné.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #198
 Title Early Spring Garden
 Series n/a
 Takahashi Rikio (1917-1998)
 Pencil signed by artist - Rikio Takahashi in English
 Seal none
 Date 1977
 Edition 1 of 50
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - moderate printing and handling creases; thinning verso along top edge from previous mounting tape.
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous This print does not appear in the artist's catalogue raisonné.
 H x W Paper 24 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (61.6 x 46.4 cm)
 H x W Image 20 x 14 1/2 in. (50.8 x 36.8 cm)  (“H” dimension includes signature.)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature