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School of Art Gallery Features Authentic Japanese Prints

Posted Aug. 21, 2012

Two-Carp_Woodblock-Print_1920-after-a-design-by-Okyo_1Kent State University's School of Art Galleries present the exhibition Japanese Prints & Japonisme, curated by Sharon Divell, Aug. 28-Oct. 5 at the School of Art Gallery, 400 Janik Dr. on the Kent campus. Hours are Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 330-672-7853. There will be an opening reception on Aug. 30 from 5-7 p.m. Free and open to the public.

"The exhibit features over a dozen Japanese prints and two Japanese sword guards on loan from the Kent State University Museum," said director of galleries, Anderson Turner. There are also additional works that represent the influence of Japanese art on the rest of the world.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists found inspiration in Japanese prints. The obvious flatness of these prints and the placement of complementary colors next to each other caught the attention of Edouard Manet and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Depictions of the changing moods of weather influenced Claude Monet and other Impressionists. Line and shape are basic elements of all Japanese prints and as Paul Gauguin moved away from optical realism, line, shape and color came to dominate his paintings. Printmakers and painters such as Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas created bold new compositions.

In Europe and America, all things Japanese were avidly collected and Japanese arts and crafts were admired in world fairs everywhere.

"The Collection of the School of Art at Kent State University boasts a selection of pieces representing this important conversation. We are excited to be able to share them with the community," said curator, Sharon Divell.

Sharon Divell served as assistant to the curator of Asian art at the Cleveland Museum of Art under the directorship of Sherman E. Lee.  She has taught Asian art history for many years at Ursuline College and, more recently, at Kent State University. She earned her Master's in art history from Case Western Reserve University.

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For more information contact:
Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398
Anderson Turner, Director of Galleries, 330-672-1369