October 30, 2017 - Pulitzer Arts Foundation - Living Proof: Drawing in 19th-Century Japan
October 30, 2017

Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Study of Two Actors, 1830s–50s. Ink on paper. 12 1/4 x 9 inches. Collection of Susan Lorence. Photo: Jim Corbett.

Living Proof: Drawing in 19th-Century Japan
November 3, 2017–March 3, 2018

Opening: November 3, 6–9pm
Curatorial tour: November 4, 11am

Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
United States
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Friday 10am–8pm

T +1 314 754 1850

pulitzerarts.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Living Proof: Drawing in 19th-Century Japan
November 3, 2017–March 3, 2018

Opening: November 3, 6–9pm
Curatorial tour: November 4, 11am

Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
United States
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Friday 10am–8pm

T +1 314 754 1850

pulitzerarts.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation presents Living Proof: Drawing in 19th-Century Japan, an exhibition that will explore the methods, techniques, and subjects of drawings during Japan’s late Edo (1603–1868) and early Meiji (1868–1912) periods. The exhibition will highlight some key practitioners, as well as the primary role of drawing as the first step in the process of creating ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In so doing, it will shed light on a body of work that, while compellingly expressive and frequently virtuoso in execution, was not treated as an independent art form at the time, lacking even a uniform terminology to describe it. With nearly eighty drawings, on loan from public and private collections nationwide, this is the first museum exhibition of its kind in over thirty years.

Living Proof has been organized by the Pulitzer and is co-curated by independent curator Kit Brooks and Pulitzer Associate Curator Tamara H. Schenkenberg. It is on view from November 3, 2017, through March 3, 2018.

Tamara H. Schenkenberg states, “The drawings on view in Living Proof were largely conceived as one step on a pathway to a final product—a woodblock print—and were thus evanescent, created with the expectation of being destroyed. To view the works in this exhibition as 'living proofs' is thus to celebrate their unlikely survival. At the same time, by highlighting the often-unseen improvisations, alterations, and even imperfections that have been excluded from histories of printmaking in Japan, Living Proof reframes these drawings as artworks in their own right, bearing witness to the artist’s creative role in this process.”

Living Proof includes sketches by some of the most celebrated print artists of the era, including Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), the Japanese artist perhaps best known among audiences in the West, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861), widely considered to be one of the most imaginative artists of 19th century Japan, and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–92), one of Kuniyoshi’s most gifted pupils. Including sketches, books, and woodblock prints, Living Proof offers an in-depth perspective on the lesser-known process and context of drawing from this era of Japanese printmaking.

Companion Exhibition
In a small companion exhibition, three modern-day independent animated films from Japan will be interspersed among the 19th century Japanese drawings in Living Proof, highlighting a continuum from drawings on paper to moving images. Titled Rough Cut: Independent Japanese Animation, this exhibition has been curated by Pulitzer Arts Foundation Assistant Curator Stephanie Weissberg, and will include works by Noburō Ōfuji (1900–61), Yoji Kuri (b. 1928), and Maya Yonesho (b. 1965). The films, which were produced outside of mainstream commercial studios, will highlight compelling innovations from early silent film to contemporary experimentation with collage and stop-motion.

About the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation believes in the power of direct experiences with art. The museum presents historic and contemporary art in dynamic interplay with its celebrated Tadao Ando building, offering unexpected experiences and inspiring new perspectives. Valuing close looking and civic engagement, the Pulitzer is a place for contemplation and exchange that brings art and people together.

Located in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis, Missouri, the Pulitzer is free and open to the public between 10am–5pm on Wednesday through Saturday, with evening hours until 8pm on Friday. For more information, visit pulitzerarts.org or call 314 754 1850.

Pulitzer Arts Foundation Media Contacts
Lucy O’Brien: lucyobrien.comm [​at​] gmail.com / T 646 590 9267
Stephanie Markovic: smarkovic.comm [​at​] gmail.com / T 347 628 4688

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