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Article

Chitqua  

David Clarke

[Tan Chet-qua; Chen]

(b possibly 1728; d Guangzhou, 1796).

Chinese portrait modeler. Chitqua ran a business in Guangzhou making portrait figurines for clients among the Western traders. His statuettes (generally around a foot or so in height, and thus easily portable) were executed in the medium of unfired clay subsequently painted. Chitqua’s work is characterized by a realism which places emphasis on accurately individualized representation of facial features and attention to detail in the treatment of dress. Similar figurines, albeit of lesser sophistication, exist from earlier in the 18th century.

Chitqua visited London between 1769 and c. 1772. He produced a number of figurines and (reportedly) busts during his time in England, and attained a high degree of social celebrity, meeting King George III and many prominent individuals. James Boswell and Josiah Wedgwood both record meeting Chitqua, for instance, and the latter also sat for a portrait, which is lost today. Regarded in England as an artist rather than an artisan, he exhibited one of his portrait sculptures in the second Royal Academy exhibition (...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Yamaguchi Prefect., Sept 6, 1906; d San Francisco, CA, March 11, 1957).

Japanese painter and writer. In 1929 he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, where he researched Tōyō Sesshū for his thesis. In 1930 he went to Paris where his work was selected for the Salon d’Automne; on returning two years later to Japan, he exhibited in the 19th Nika Ten (Second Division Society exhibition). In 1948 he exhibited At the Lake (1948; Kobe, Kōnan Senior High Sch.) in the 12th Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai Ten (Society of Independent Artists exhibition) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. In 1951 he corresponded with Franz Kline, exchanging views on Eastern and Western cultures. He exhibited Rhapsody: At the Fishing Village (frottage on paper mounted on four-fold screen, 1952; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.) at the Nihon Gendai Bijutsu Ten (Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art), organized by the Tokyo Reader’s Digest in 1952. A year later he had a one-man exhibition at the New Gallery, New York and was a founder-member of the Nihon Abusutorakuto Āto Kurabu (...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, July 2, 1891; d Tokyo, June 3, 1955).

Japanese printmaker, poet and book designer. He studied at the Tokyo Art School from 1910 to 1915. Influenced by Yumeji Takehisa (1884–1934), a painter of highly popular sentimental portraits of women, and later by Edvard Munch and Vasily Kandinsky, he moved towards the expression of his inner feelings, which he termed lyricism. In 1914–15, with Shizuo Fujimori (1891–1943) and Kyōkichi Tanaka (1892–1915), he founded Tsukuhae (‘Moonglow’), a magazine of poetry and woodblock prints, in which he published abstract prints. One of these, Bright Time (1915; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), is possibly the first purely abstract Japanese work. He also produced polychromatic figurative woodblock prints, such as Ripples (1939; priv. col., see Kubo, pl. 202) and The Author of Hyōtō (‘Ice isle’, 1943; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A., see Kubo, pl. 224), a portrait of his close friend, the poet Sakutarō Hagiwara. Works such as the illustrated poetry collection ...