"Kwannon' Goddess of Mercy
This interesting and captivating Sosaku Hanga (self-made) woodblock print depicts the Japanese Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, 'Kwannon'. Kawano favored the subjects of children and animals, but he produced some very important woodblocks with regard to his Buddhist faith and this one is a favorite among collectors. Kawano had a very modern and contemporary approach to his art, utilizing the wood grain in his blocks to accent his imagery, and he did it well as evidenced by the full use of the wood grain in this image, with the simplicity of black and white accenting the grain. The Goddess shows in a bronze/gold cast, adding to its very rich presentation. This print dates to c1960 and it bears Kawano's red seal in the block. The sight size measures 16" x 10" and it is matted in a simple black acid-free mat and framed in its original and very complementary bronze/gold tone frame measuring 22.5" x 17". This woodblock print is in fine original condition.
Kawano Kaoru was born in 1916 in Hokkaido. In 1934 he studied art at the Kawabata Art School and was accepted by the Japan Print Society. World War II interrupted his work, and he ended up as a prisoner in Serbia. He survived and continued his work as an artist after the war was over. In 1954 he was awarded the Koguga prize and his work began to be recognized around the world, including exhibits in New York, Chicago , Seattle and Yugoslavia. Using a mix of the old tradition of Japanese color woodblocks, as well as the Western approach, he creates a simplified, yet impressive, interpretation of his subjects. Kaoru Kawano mostly focused his art work on the subject of children and animals, although he has done some landscapes as well. In particular his work on denoting young girlhood gave him national recognition across Japan. One of the biggest differences that sets Kaoru Kawano apart from other woodblock artists in his generation is the use of the grain in the woodblocks to his advantage in each of the pieces of art that he creates. It creates a beautiful element of texture and layering to his prints. He has done both open and limited edition prints.
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