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Kyoto Series No. 52 Garden (N)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Kyoto Series No. 52 Garden (N)

by Takahashi Rikio, 1976

IHL Cat. #224

About This Print

This print is one of 39 in the artist's long running (1960-1986) Kyoto series of prints in which the artist has assigned sequential numbers (with some numbers skipped and some numbers suffixed, e.g. Series Kyoto No. 21B.)  In addition to this numbered series, the artist has produced 24 other prints with Kyoto in their title such as Kyoto's Voice and three additional prints mentioning the "capital" or the "old city". 

Wall Card from the Exhibition Three Masters of Abstraction
Hagiwara Hideo, Ida Shōichi and Takahashi Rikio
November 3, 2018 - March 24, 2019
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

高橋力雄 京都シリーズ No. 52 庭 N

Takahashi Rikio (1917–1998)

Kyoto Series No. 52 Garden (N)


Color woodblock print on paper 
Lent by Irwin Lavenberg, L2017.103.32

The Kyoto Prints

Kyoto has been the predominant theme of Takahashi's work.  Kyoto, either named or referenced in the print title, appears in a total of sixty-three of the artists prints, spanning almost his entire career.

Source: 44 Modern Japanese Print Artists, Gaston Petit, Kodansha International Ltd., 1973, p. 148-149.
"Kyoto, former capital of Japan, is the focus of Takahashi's artistic inspiration, a city to which this artist remains profoundly attached.... Despite its size, it has an intimacy, an accessible charm to which Takahashi has yielded completely."

In discussing the series Petit goes on to say:

"[Takahashi] is in complete control of his vocabulary, but there seems to be no evolution in terms of his entire pattern or color, just as Kyoto itself is now historically quiescent.  The surface is motionless, and one can only hope to penetrate deeper into the surrounding mystery.  Though the elements of Takahashi's prints seem to float in an untamed cosmos, or are simply reduced to a square or an oblong in perfect equilibrium, they fall unmistakably into place, arranged as precisely as the utensils for a formal tea ceremony.  The space is so ideally formulated that no furnishings are necessary; its architecture eliminates everything but that which is aesthetically and structurally indispensable.  The space itself is a product of light and shadow displayed in an 'unbalanced' tension.  The search for such 'unbalanced' forms has almost become an obsession, but it is nevertheless a positive aesthetic expression."

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

Color Image from Catalogue Raisonné
Catalogue Raisonné #327
(Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Prints,
published by Abe Publishing
LTD., 1998)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #224
 Kyoto Series No. 52 Garden (N)  京都シリーズ NO. 52 庭 N
 Series Kyoto
 Takahashi Rikio (1917-1998)
 Pencil signed by artist - Rikio Takahashi in English
 Seal none
 Date 1976
 Edition 7 of 35
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent- print backed with translucent Japanese “rice” paper with edges ½ inchlonger than the print edge; two minute spots on the right margin,bottom; minor mat burn overall; upper section of reverse very slightlytoned (perhaps only the backing paper/not visible to the front.)
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 H x W Paper 36 1/2 x 24 7/8 in. (92.7 x 63.2 cm)
 H x W Image 33 5/8 x 22 3/8 in. (85.4 x 56.8 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference LiteratureCatalogue Raisonné: Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Printspublished by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998, p. 155 number 327, color pl. p. 70.