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.
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.
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.
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."
Etching, dry point, woodblock print, 30 x 21 3/8 inches, by Noboru Sawai. Shows a large plate of fish on the table, with four small plates above on the wall. It celebrates a catch of fish caught by fishermen living on an island in the Inland Sea of Japan, where Noboru was born. The plump fish have been expertly and beautifully drawn, using a combination of printmaking techniques. The large plate has a border of naked figures echoing Picasso; the small plates have images taken from Japanese and Western sexual art. The emotional clash of Asian and Western cultures in a Japanese person is Noboru's perennial theme. Noboru studied with Toshi Yoshida and presently has a studio in Vancouver, Canada.
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.
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.
18.5 x 17.5 in. Abstract: black background, black, natural, red, with yellow, gold and orange lines. An fascinating abstract print, showing an image of a Japanese warrior, energetically charging toward an unseen foe. Black background, figure as open space, black line, red, with yellow, gold and orange lines. This is a profile of fierce energy. The lines within the figure seem to spin around and collide. The dripped yellow and black lines echo Japanese pottery or Jackson Pollock. Yoshida Hodaka is a third generation Yoshida family artist, brother of Toshi.
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.
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.
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.