self-carved, self-printed woodblock print; signed and dated in pencil on the bottom right margin, Chizuko Yoshida, 1953, titled on the bottom left margin, Rain, 1953
oban tate-e 15 5/8 by 10 1/2 in., 39.7 by 26.8 cm
In the late 1940s Chizuko began associating with a group of avant-garde writers and artists, known as the Century Society (Seiki no kai) who met regularly to exchange ideas regarding international developments in modern art theories, the exposure influenced Chizuko to move away from realism and towards abstract expressionism. In 1949 or 1950, she met Hodaka Yoshida (1826-1995) at an exhibition organized by the Taiheiyo group (according to Statler the year was 1949 when Hodaka won an award for an abstract painting), and in 1950 Chizuko was likewise awarded a prize for an abstract painting at the annual exhibition of the Shuyokai group. Chizuko and Hodaka began to show their work in joint exhibitions at Tokyo's Maruzen Gallery, and together they were able to attend a few of the First Thursday Society (Ichimokukai) gatherings held by the leading sosaku hanga printmaker, Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955). Chizuko and Hodaka were married in 1953, a year that marked a notable burst in creative print production emanating from the entire Yoshida family.
Chizuko's early abstract woodblock prints were studies in form and color, with very little or no negative space. The titular 'rain' of this print is visually referenced with straight lines terminating or connected by dots floating above overlapping geometric fields of color. Deeply influenced by music while she worked, the black lines are simultaneously suggestive of dancing musical notes and the plink, plink, plink sound of raindrops as well.
Yoshida Family Collection
Oliver Statler, Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn, 1959, pp. 170-171
Laura W. Allen, ed., A Japanese Legacy: Four Generations of Yoshida Family Artists, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2002, pp. 178-181
(inv. no. C-3611)
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