Edition: 117/150 Woodblock print; ink, colors, and silver on paper. Born in Tokyo in 1911, Toshi Yoshida was the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida. Under his father's influence, Toshi began to learn painting at age 3 and woodblock printing at age 13. From 1925-29 he studied oil painting at Taiheiyo Art School and in 1929 traveled with his father to India and Southeast Asia. In 1936 Toshi journeyed to China and Korea. In 1952-53 he visited the US and Europe where he exhibited works and lectured about woodblock prints. In 1954 he taught printmaking for one month at the Art Institute of Chicago and since that time has often traveled to the US, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Australia and Antarctica for sketching, exhibitions and lectures. For a few years after the war, he made prints of abstract subjects, but then reverted to prints of scenery and animals. In 1980, Toshi opened the Miasa Cultural Center in Nagano Prefecture where he taught students from many countries, including Carol Jessen and Karyn Young.
Print - woodblock. 7.5" x 10.25"; matted 15" x 17.5". Profile of a black panther with a gold eye and brilliant gold background. By means of exquisite carving, the artist draws attention to the piercing eye and the sheen on the black fur. When he was a youth, Toshi's grandmother urged him to study animals and draw them. He became one of the top wildlife artists in the world in the woodblock medium. He was given a French prize for his series of 12 children's books, taking the young reader on a tour of the African savannah, its flora and fauna. He belongs to the third generation of Yoshida family artists.
Woodblock print, 21.5 X 27.75 inches. A beautiful blue and green abstract wave seems to loom up and forward, its open spaces forming a face with small drops as eyes. The artist is being playful, his image a gesture. His print stands in sharp contrast to the greatest wave in Japanese art history, Hokusai's "Under the Great Wave at Kanagawa."
Photo zinc plate, 10 x 15.25 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. Cartoon-like drawing of rabbits on horseback and on foot, with sword, knives and daggers, in fierce combat. A red seal in the lower right. Toshi was 5 years old, a child afflicted with polio, when he20made a sketch book with drawings like this. This page was photographed, transferred to a zinc plate, and printed. While not realizing it, Toshi's drawing echoes the satirical animal cartoons of important people in 12th century classical Japanese art. It is possible to trace Toshi's career as an artist by means of this and other prints. Untitled (Rabbits in Battle), soclaa001040, represents his sketch book drawing when he was 5 years old; Raicho, soclaa001105, with considerable detail was his earliest self-carved and self-printed work at age 19; White Plum in the Farmyard, soclaa001106, marked a new beginning in his work; and Peaceful Wild Animals, soclaa001124, one of his largest prints, was made when he was 63 years old.
Woodblock print, 14.75 x 16.75 inches. Another black and white lioness, with head down on a rock outcropping. This black and white image has been taken from the key block used for the larger, full color woodblock print, Peaceful Wild Animals, 1974, by Toshi. It shows the incredibly fine, detailed carving Toshi was able to do. The lines for the fur, for example, have been carved in the wood in a way that delineates the shape of the muscles in the body and the light reflected off of them. For a carver to do this without additional shading, shows great skill and artistry. The complete full color print shows all three animals together on a rock in the vast African savannah. This extra large print was carved from a single block of cherry wood. St.Olaf College has the entire large black and white key block impression, slightly cropped, in its collection.
15.5 x 10.5 in. Electric blue and dark blue gestural. A totally abstract image with an almost electric blue crackling across a ground of dark blue with black tracery. It belongs to a series of the earliest abstract prints that Toshi began creating in 1951-2. As Hiroshi Yoshida's eldest son,Toshi inherited the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo.
Photo zinc plate print, 11 x 16 inches. Green lines on plain Japanese paper. A cartoon-like drawing of dogs seated at tables with bowls of food before them. Red seal in the lower left corner. Toshi was 5 years old, a child afflicted with polio, when he made a sketch book with drawings like this. This page was photographed, the image was transferred to a zinc plate, and printed. While not realizing it, Toshi's drawing echoes the satirical animal cartoons of important people in 12th century classical Japanese art. Posthumously printed by Yoshida family in his memory. It is possible to trace Toshi's career as an artist by means of this and other prints. Untitled (Rabbits in Battle), soclaa001040, represents his sketch book drawing when he was 5 years old; Raicho, soclaa001105, with considerable detail was his earliest self-carved and self-printed work at age 19; White Plum in the Farmyard, soclaa001106, marked a new beginning in his work; and Peaceful Wild Animals, soclaa001124, one of his largest prints, was made when he was 63 years old.
Woodblock print, 27.5 x 21.25 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. At the center of this abstract print is a fascinating large red shape, with black markings on it, placed against a brown moire background. It is totally ambiguous. Could it be a standing figure, like a primeval beast or raging humanoid, or is it more like an emblem or pendant? Or is it simply a visual representation of the mental state, intention? Along with realistic prints, Toshi made many abstract prints with shapes like this in various sizes and colors.
Woodblock print, 14.5 x 9.5 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. The print presents a striking contrast between a typical Japanese stone tower and the delicate cherry blossoms hanging down on slender branches. Toshi himself experienced a new springtime in his art with this print and others in 1951.
Woodblock print, 14.25 x 9.75 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. Gray and white abstract in a moire pattern. Toshi based this on the way the old Ukiyo-e masters made mosquito netting in their prints, by printing the vertical lines of the net first, and overprinting that with a block printing the horizontal lines of the net, except that Toshi used wavy lines instead of straight. The result is a complex visual effect. Toshi used this type of pattern as the background in other prints, both abstract and naturalistic.