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Collecting Japanese prints of the twentieth century has a very interesting aspect for collectors with a keen eye for art but not necessarily with a big wallet. There are still a lot of lesser known, excellent artists that have not yet become trendy and whose art prints are pretty affordable. Takeji Asano is one of them.
First Publication: July 2002
Latest Update: April 2013
The majority of the shin hanga artists lived and worked in the Tokyo and Kyoto area. When you compare the artists from these two regions, you will find a subtle little difference. All "big names" ( Hasui, Shinsui, Hashiguchi, Shunsen,..) are expensive and from the Tokyo area, while the Kyoto artists ( Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Yoshimitsu, Kanpo, Asano Takeji, Asada Benji, Tsuchida Bakusen,..) are lesser known and prices for their works are more affordable for limited art budgets. lower.
Were the Kyoto artists all artistically challenged or was Kyoto an immigration enclave for art students who could not pass the exams at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts?
The answer is simple and has even a name. The Tokyo artists had the better manager in the person of the publisher and smart business man Watanabe Shozaburo. By mainly exporting the prints outside Japan, he made the names of these Tokyo artists well known in North America and Europe.
In Kyoto the publisher Sato Shotaro tried to keep up with Watanabe. But he never got the publicity and the commercial success of his competitor.
But let us come back to Takeji Asano. He was born in Kyoto. And like Tomikichiro Tokuriki he underwent a long and intensive art training - first at the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts, from which he graduated in 1919 and later at the Kyoto City specialist School of Painting with graduation in 1923. One of his teachers was Tsuchida Bakusen.
In 1930 Asano participated in the series Sosaku hanga shin Kyoto junikagetsu - Creative Prints of Twelve Months in New Kyoto. Other contributing artists were Tokuriki Tomikichiro and Asada Benji. Further landscape prints followed in the 1930s.
After the war in 1947, Asano created the series Kinki meisho fukei - Noted Views in the Kyoto-Osaka Area. This series was self-carved and self-printed by the artist with a high technical level.
Next to Unichi Hiratsuka, Azechi Umetaro and Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Takeji Asano became another Methuselah of the Japanese printmaking artists. He died in 1999 at age ninety-nine. Helen Merritt reports that he worked as a printmaker still in the 1970s and 1980s.
289 sold object(s) by Takeji Asano 1900-1999 in our Art Archive
1 signature(s) by Takeji Asano in our Signature Database
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
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