SILVER WIND: THE ARTS OF SAKAI HŌITSU (1761-1828)
September 29, 2012—January 6, 2013
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.
For Six Weeks Only, A Once-in-a-Lifetime Reunion of Two Celebrated Painted Screens!
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.
So precious and fragile that they can be on view for only six weeks, on November 4 Hōitsu’s Waves will return to Japan and be replaced by his Maples and Cherry Trees, another stunning pair of screens opulently lined with gold leaf and painted in precious mineral pigments.
Silver Wind offers an unmissable opportunity to experience in its totality the art of a great painter who has long been prized in this country for his direct visual appeal, loving depiction of favorite Japanese subjects, and sensitivity to subtle changes in weather and the seasons.