Japan Society Gallery presents the first American retrospective of Sakai Hōitsu, master of the bravura gesture, a samurai aristocrat turned Buddhist monk who dedicated his life to art and poetry. Triumphs of compositional daring and sumptuousness, Hōitsu’s paintings and those of his chief pupil Suzuki Kiitsu (1796–1858) made a defining Japanese contribution to world art.
The exhibition includes 58 screens, scrolls, painted fans, lacquer wares, and woodblock-printed books from public and private collections throughout the United States, including five loans from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Foremost among the paintings are Hōitsu’s Waves, a magnificent pair of twelve-foot-wide six-panel screens sheathed in silver leaf and boldly brushed in black ink. They will be exhibited alongside Rough Waves by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), an earlier artist who inspired Hōitsu to revive the Rimpa (“school of Kōrin”) style and to paint the Waves screens.
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