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NIWA (Movement) B2

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

NIWA (Movement) B2

by Takahashi Rikio, 1985

IHL Cat. #604

About This Print

While Japanese gardens are a primary source of material for the artist, the word NIWA (庭), Japanese for garden, made its first appearance in Takahashi's 1977 print titled NIWA R (Garden R) and subsequently appeared in at least 97 print titles, the last being two prints published in 1993, each titled, simply, NIWA.  Also see NIWA (80-K)NIWA (Winter Scenery)NIWA (April) and NIWA (Sunshine) in this collection.

Comments of Lawrence Smith
Source: Contemporary Japanese Prints: Symbols of a Society in Transition, Lawrence Smith, Harper & Row Publishers, 1985, p. 41.

Takahashi is one of the last masters of the "Creative Print" movement (Sōsaku Hanga).  In his youth he was one of the last associates of Onchi Kōshirō (1891-1955) (d. 1955) and has explored with persistent intensity the semi-abstract woodblock style perfected by the master in the last ten years of his life.  Takahashi shows in this print the main features of that style - quiet but warm and very harmonious colours, much use of space, the overlapping of blocks of colour to produce interesting nuances of tone, and the use of almost recognizable pictorial elements such as rocks.  The artist, who now lives in Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, continues to use the theme of the Japanese garden (Niwa) seen from above as the basis for his dignified and poetic works.

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 庭 (動) B2

Takahashi Rikio (1917–1998)

NIWA (Movement) B2


Color woodblock print with embossing on paper 
Lent by Irwin Lavenberg, L2017.103.28

Warm, harmonious colors invite quiet reflection in this, one of the artist’s best-known works. Takahashi’s careful preparation of his water-based inks allow the subtle hues to cleanly overlay one another through multiple printings of extremely thin layers of ink. While over one hundred of Takahashi’s prints bear the title NIWA, or garden, each is a new exploration in composition, color, and form. 

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

#426 - Catalogue Raisonné
(Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Prints, published by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #604
 Title NIWA (Movement) B2   庭 (動) B2
 Series NIWA
 Takahashi Rikio (1917-1998)
 Pencil signed by artist - Rikio Takahashi in English
 Seal none
 Date 1985
 Edition 2 of 50
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent- 3 pieces hinging tape top verso
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous Niwa translates literally into Garden.
 H x W Paper 36 x 24 1/2 in. (91.4 x 62.2 cm)
 H x W Image 32 1/4 x 21 3/8 in. (81.9 x 54.3 cm)
 Collections This Print British Museum 1986,1029,0.62
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné: Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Printspublished by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998, p. 168 number 426, color pl. p. 92.
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