Yoshida: Three Generations of Japanese Printmaking

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Yoshida: Three Generations of Japanese Printmaking

First UK exhibition of the Yoshida Japanese printmaking dynasty takes place in 2024 at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Yoshida Hiroshi, Kumoi Cherry Trees

In summer 2024, Dulwich Picture Gallery will bring together artworks by the Yoshida family, a Japanese artistic dynasty including Yoshida Hiroshi, Fujio, Tōshi, Hodaka, Chizuko and Ayomi.

The first of its kind in the UK – and Europe more widely – this exhibition will shine a spotlight on three generations of woodblock print artists and trace the evolution of Japanese printmaking across two centuries.

Yoshida: Three Generations of Japanese Printmaking takes place at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 19 June - 20 October 2024 and will feature loans from international and private collections. The majority of works by Yoshida Hiroshi will be on loan from the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan and are travelling to the UK for the first time.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Monika Hinkel with support from Helen Hillyard, Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It will be accompanied by a full colour publication featuring new research by Dr Monika Hinkel.

Tickets will be available to purchase, prior to the exhibition opening, from www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk.

Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950)

Yoshida Hiroshi, Kumoi Cherry Trees, 1926. Courtesy Fukuoka Art Museum.

The exhibition will open with work by Yoshida Hiroshi, one of Japan’s greatest artists. A pioneer of the shin hanga movement, he travelled across the world and gained an international reputation for his woodblock prints of American and European landscapes.

New research will provide an insight into Hiroshi’s time in London, including his visit to Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1900, and his signature in the Gallery’s visitor book, along with his diaries, will serve as an intimate starting point for the show.

The exhibition will include over 20 works by Hiroshi, many of which will be on display in the UK for the first time, with highlights including El Capitan (1925), A Canal in Venice (1925) and Kumoi Cherry Trees (1926), see above.

Yoshida Fujio (1887–1987)

Yoshida Fujio, Yellow Iris, 1954, Private Collection, Photograph by Mareo Suemasa.

Works by Yoshida Fujio, a renowned watercolourist, painter and printmaker, will be exhibited in the UK for the first time.

Fujio was married to Hiroshi and travelled with him across the USA and Europe, exhibiting her delicate watercolours of Japan to acclaim.

Upon returning home in 1907, she took part in the first exhibition organised by the Japanese Academy of Arts.

A skilled printmaker, Fujio later became known for her iconic close-up designs of plants and flowers.

Yoshida Tōshi (1911–1995) and Yoshida Hodaka (1926–1995)

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Yoshida Hodaka, Profile of an Ancient Warrior, 1958. Courtesy Fukuoka Art Museum.

The exhibition will also showcase prints by Hiroshi’s and Fujio’s sons, Tōshi and Hodaka, both of whom brought post-war abstraction to the Japanese printmaking process.

Early on in his career, Yoshida Tōshi followed in his father’s footsteps, depicting landscapes and cityscapes, but experimented with abstract prints after World War II.

The exhibition will include some of his most accomplished works, including Night Tokyo: Supper Waggon (1938) and Camouflage (1985).

Yoshida Hodaka was a leading printmaker in post-war Japan. In a break from his family’s established style, he expanded upon traditional printmaking and incorporated collage and photoetching into his practice. Like his father and brother, foreign travels influenced his choice of motifs, but he was also inspired by Pop Art, Surrealism and Abstraction. Works such as Profile of an Ancient Warrior (1958) and Nonsense Mythology (1969) will demonstrate his unique style.

Yoshida Chizuko (1924–2017)

Yoshida Chizuko, Tenryuji Garden, 1953, Private Collection, Photograph by Mareo Suemasa.

Yoshida Chizuko, who married Hodaka, was a renowned artist and co-founder of the first group of female printmakers in Japan, the Women’s Print Association.

Chizuko often depicted landscapes, nature, and traditional Japanese scenes but she also explored aspects of abstraction and repetition.

Her works were said to have connected popular art movements such as Abstract Expressionism and traditional Japanese printmaking.

Highlights will include A View at the Western Suburb of the Metropolis/ Rainy Season (1995) and Jazz (1954).

Yoshida Ayomi (b. 1958)

The exhibition will culminate with a new site-specific installation of cherry blossom by Yoshida Ayomi, Hodaka’s and Chizuko’s daughter.

The youngest member of the Yoshida printmaking family, Ayomi’s practice combines traditional Japanese printmaking techniques with modern elements, often utilising organic materials, and she has been exhibited at major international institutions.

Ayomi’s immersive installation, a new work created especially for Dulwich Picture Gallery, will explore the recurring theme of seasonality in Japanese art and is inspired by the Cherry trees in Dulwich Village, originally taken from the iconic site of Yoshino in Japan, famous for its cherry blossom.

What the experts say

Jennifer Scott, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: “I get goosebumps thinking about Yoshida Hiroshi’s visit to Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1900. We (metaphorically) welcome him back with this landmark exhibition which introduces UK audiences to his exquisite work and to his legacy - an exceptional family of printmakers.”

Dr Monika Hinkel, Curator of the exhibition, said: “It is exciting to be able to exhibit so many iconic works of the renowned Yoshida family of printmakers to showcase the fascinating creative development of such outstanding artists over three generations.”

Yoshida Ayomi said: “When I found my grandfather’s signature in the Dulwich Picture Gallery guest book, my heart skipped a beat. What an exciting and intriguing journey it must have been for Hiroshi, then an unknown painter and only 23, traveling from a country so far away. How proud he would be of this family exhibit of six, welcomed 120 years later at this wonderful museum.”

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