The sosaku hanga or “creative prints” was a revolutionary art movement which emerged in the changing Japan of the early 20th century. The movement arose from a central tenant: the artist must participate in every aspect of production. As artists shed the traditional delegation of ukiyo-e production and explored each role themselves, the act of printmaking adopted a more spontaneous, expressive attitude. Artists explored with the knife, the chisel, the woodblock, the ink to push to boundaries of their medium. Originally excluded from Japan’s formal art world, sosaku hanga began on the pages of magazines. It was not until 1919 that the first sosaku hanga exhibition opened in Tokyo. Ranging from figural to abstract, sosaku hanga flourished after WWII, when it found an eager audience among American GIs. In this collection, Ronin Gallery presents masters of the sosaku hanga movement such as Onchi, Ono, Munakata, Saito, Sekino, and M. Yoshitoshi, as well as other post-war Japanese printmakers.

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