Woodcut print by Shiko Munakata Japanese c1962 abstract children with butterflies, birds and flowers. The frame measures 16 x 21.75 inches. The image itself measures 9 x 14 inches. In all original condition. Signed lower left and chop mark lower right. Munakata was born in 1903 and died in 1975. There was a wonderful exhibition of Munakatas woodcut screens Jan 9, 1968 through February 18, 1968 at the Brooklyn Museum in NY. To see a video of the artist go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym43CuWX240. Munakata was a practicing Buddhist born in 1903, the son of a blacksmith in Aomori Prefecture, located in the North of Japan's main island. He first began to paint in oil as a self-taught artist. Later in 1924 he went to Tokyo to study art with the hopes of becoming a Western-style painter.Inspired by the works of Vincent van Gogh, In 1926 he saw and was impressed by a book of woodblock-printed poems and pictures by the artist Sumio Kawakami (1895?1972) and in 1928 he visited the printmaker Un?ichi Hiratsuka (b 1895) and received instruction in the woodblock printing technique. In the same year he was selected for the first time to submit an oil painting to the 9th Teiten (Imperial Art Exhibition). In 1936 Muneyoshi Yanagi, a theologian and philosopher who founded the Mingei (folk arts) movement, and the ceramicists Shoji Hamada and Kanjiro Kawai acknowledged his prints and from that time they encouraged him. In turn he was spiritually and ideologically influenced by the spokesman of Japanese Romanticism, Yojuro Yasuda (1910?81), who praised Japanese art and aesthetics rather than the contemporary Western mentality that was popular at the time. At this time, he also seriously considered the importance of traditional folk customs Many of his prints and paintings show religious subjects. Other subjects are taken from Japanese legends or from nature.After World War II had ended, the artist became famous outside Japan. His works were shown at the Lugano Print Exhibition in 1952, the Sao Paulo Biennal in 1955, the Venice Biennal in 1956. In each of these exhibitions he was awarded with first prizes. After these successful exhibition, Munakata went to the U.S., where he lectured at different universities and had numerous solo exhibitions
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