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, 19.5 x 26 inches. It shows Chinese workers harvesting fruit that fill the trees in an orchard. A red flag, signifying the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976, waves over heavily laden carts. This is an example of peasant art used as state propaganda. This and images like this originated as gouache paintings done by Chinese peasants. The exhibition of the paintings in France was so successful that the government directed woodblock artists to make exact copies for sale.
22.5 x 13.5 in. woodblock print. Lightly clad woman, diving from negative space into a bubble in which are crab, bird, fish, other bubbles. Tsukasa's work is often symbolic. Here there seems to be an invitation to leave an empty existence by diving into another reality. Tsukasa always does his own carving and printing, producing only a few prints each year. He is the son of Toshi Yoshida and is the head of the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo.
24.5 x 37.75 inches. Woodblock print; Black print with lion and 2 lionesses. A lion and two lionesses resting on a rock in the African savanna. This is the black and white keyblock print for a print made in full color with the same title and date. Toshi's carving shows incredible skill in modeling the full bodies of the animals with simple lines. It was carved on one very large cherrywood block. Toshi loved Africa and its wildlife. His seal in the lower right. 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; Peaceful Wild Animals, soclaa001124, one of his largest prints was made when he was 63 years old.
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.
Woodblock print, 9.75 x 14.5 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. A view of a green and pink earth from space. In 1969 the United States space program placed the first human beings on the moon. The view from space of the earth itself in space revolutionized our understanding of ourselves in the universe. One year later Toshi's rather abstract print celebrated that event.
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.
9.5 x 13.5 in. Woodblock and zinc plate print, mountain landscape with trees in foreground. The actual title Toshi gave this print is "Early Spring in Azumino". It shows an early morning view of a Japanese mountain, forest, and Shinto temple. The zinc plate made it possible to print the very fine dark lines of the trees, and that suggests that a photograph was used as the first stage in doing this. Prints like this were given to Japanese newlyweds in the temple, thus the label on this work "Charity." It implies a gift of love. Toshi was part of the third generation of Yoshida family artists.
8 x 11in.. Two sets of calligraphy with blue over white with gold and brown background with a red seal in the lower right corner. A fascinating composition made up of Japanese writing that incorporates the title. Blue Japanese characters have been printed over muted gold characters. There is a hint of primitive human figures. Is it also philosophical? Is the One and Only the idea behind other Tsukasa prints like "Dawn" and "Bubble of Life? Even the red seal on the print echoes this image. Son of Toshi Yoshida and third generation of Yoshida family artists.
9.5 x 14.75 inches woodblock print. Study of an Asian farmhouse surrounded by trees with a forest in the background. Son of Toshi Yoshida and third generation of Yoshida family artists. It shows a typical old Japanese farmhouse, with trees and plowed field. These have been rendered simply and directly, yet with quiet respect for rural life. It is one of Tsukasa's earliest prints, one without an apparent deeper level of meaning. Tsukasa is youngest son of Toshi Yoshida and part of the fourth generation of Yoshida family artists.
Woodblock print, 17.25 x 11.5 inches, by Ando (or Utagawa) Hiroshige; a modern copy printed with different size blocks. It shows three figures at night, one, perhaps a merchant seated on a horse and smoking a pipe, with two others standing alongside, near a fire. The village lies before them. Hiroshige (1792-1858) was one of the most important Ukiyo-e artists. His woodblock prints always have corners that are indented as here.
20.5 X 26 in. Woodblock and copper etching. An image of the artist as a Western nun in black merges into an image of Japan's Mount Fuji. The scratches in the image show tension, perhaps inner anger. Noboru seems to have experienced pain in adjusting to life in Western countries. Former student of Toshi Yoshida.
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.
16 x 11 inches. Woodcut relief print. Figures in foreground; purple, brown and orange village and background. Posthumously printed by Toshi Yoshida, Hiroshiâ€™s eldest son and heir to studio. It shows cherry blossoms and figures in fr ont of a Buddhist structure and bridge on the outskirts of Tokyo. Hiroshi was a very important oil painter, watercolorist, and woodblock artist. His style has been called "Romantic Realism." He would portray a scene in nature, usually in Japan but also in the United States, in a light that would evoke deep feelings in the viewer. Within the shin hanga, or new print movement, his work is distinct. Some of his most admired prints have long been out of print. Toshi, his son, used Hiroshi's same woodblocks and pigments to print new editions of these works, this print being example. Hiroshi was the leading second generation artist in the Yoshida family.
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.
Woodblock and copper etching, 30 X 21 inches, by Noboru Sawai. Image of a nude woman with body painting holding an umbrella while seated in a wheelbarrow. In the background are an old barn and a copse of trees on Vancouver Island, Canada. It a visual poem or riddle. The artist was a student of Toshi Yoshida before establishing his own studio in Canada.