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by Iwami Reika

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Artist: Iwami Reika
Title: Unknown
Date 1st edition?1961
Publisher 1st edition?Not Set
Publisher (this edition)?Not Set
Medium (1st edition): Woodblock
Medium (this edition): Woodblock
Format (1st edition): Not Set
Format (this edition): Not Set
DB artwork code: 32524
Notes (1st edition)?
Notes (this edition)?The following information was taken from the original web listing of this artwork. Often written by non-experts, there may be inaccuracies:

This is a gorgeous (and very large) original woodblock print by sosaku hanga artist Reika Iwami, well listed in all of the modern Japanese print reference books. It is an early print from this noted female printmaker, dating from 1961, well before she started the black, gold and white water series for which she is so well known today. This print measures about 21 1/2 x 15 1/2 plus large margins. Condition is very good but for some minor toning in the margins. The print is pencil signed and numbered 2/30, a very small edition. The background is liberally dusted with silver mica, giving the print a shimmery quality when illuminated. A truly stunning early print from one of the premier sosaku hanga printmakers.

Artist Bio: Reika Iwami was born in 1927 and graduated from the Tokyo Bunka Gakuin Art College. She pursued the art of doll-making and doll-carving for eleven years, before becoming a printmaker in 1954.

Iwami is a rarity among woman woodblock artists in her avoidance of color. Solid, pure blacks are blended with finely textured grays and some metallic gold or silver. Large full moons often dominate her prints, with rocketlike gold thrusts piercing them in bold curves. Wavelike patterns like communication symbols sometimes bisect the circles. Sprinklings of powdered mica over the white areas give them impression of windblown sand. In the absence of brilliant colors, form and texture are strongly evident.

Her subject is water and flow, and her genius lies in the almost mystical ability of being able to transmute the grain and texture of pieces of wood into visual images of patterns of water. Her titles all reflect her preoccupation with this theme. She executes all phases of the printmaking, cutting the blocks, inking them and rubbing the paper. Influenced by her work with the Koshiro Onchi and Sekino Jun'ichiro.

She has held numerous one-woman shows throughout Japan and Europe, and has won prizes in several international print competitions. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MOMA), Library of Congress, Cincinnati Art Museum, and the University of California.

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

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Site copyright: Dr Ross F. Walker. Copyright of the displayed artwork: the original owner. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource to scholars and collectors of Japanese art. JAODB would like to thank the caretakers of these art items for their contribution to this database. The items displayed here are not being offered for sale. Unless otherwise indicated the displayed item is not in the ownership of JAODB or Ross Walker.