31 page full-color exhibition catalogue, including 23 illustrations
The second half of the 18th century was the golden age of innovation in ukiyo-e. During this period, woodblock print artists experimented with a variety new techniques and sizes. The most unique of these formats was the long, narrow hashira-e, or the pillar print. This new size allowed for compositions that brimmed with grace and emotion, employing negative space and vertical dynamism to great effect. And while these more unusual sizes presented their own challenges to the printing process, they also allowed the artist to be experimental, imaginative and innovative with the design’s compositional space. Hashira-e were often pasted to the pillars in traditional Japanese homes, and as such, they were exposed to smoke and dust, making those that have survived exceedingly precious works of art.