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Fishing Village in the Afternoon

Midday at the Beach
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

 漁村の午后

Fishing Village in the Afternoon

by Kitaoka Fumio, 1967

Frozen River


IHL Cat. #194

About This Print

Source: Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints: Selected Works from the Richard F. Grott Family Collection, Helen M. Nagata, Helen Merritt, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, 2007, p. 24, 40.

"Kitaoka’s Fishing Village in the Afternoon is a model of layered color, technique, and meaning.  Kitaoka presents his village street in the strong light of the high-noon hour.  The wash of the direct light, enhanced with a sheen of luminescent mica, is beautifully accented with splashes of orange and blue in the receding background and the cuddled mass of a yellow dog in the lower right corner.  Using Western perspective methods and Eastern printing expertise, the print beautifully captures an accurately observed moment.  There is a timelessness to the image; the space depicted is a working man’s village, a seaside community with worn streets and lived-in houses.  Portraying an identifiable setting, moment, and mood, all executed with complete artistic control and mastery, Kitaoka’s print is the paradigm of woodblock printing at its best and is a visually stunning exercise in expressive realism."

"In addition to imparting a sense of calm, prints in Grott’s collection also offer a view of Japanese life not often seen.  One such example is a 1966 print by Kitaoka Fumio (1918–2007) entitled Fishing Village in the Afternoon.  It shows a deserted street occupied only by one seated person and a yellow dog sleeping in the sun.  Grott enjoys the subtle colors used in the print, but grows serious when he describes the sense.  'It is not a wealthy area,' he observes.  'There is an unusual metal tower and a ramshackle roof that looks like it’s about to fall down.  Life’s not so great for people who have to do this type of work.'

Source: Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Early Years, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1990, p. 254.
"It was not until he began to sell prints to members of the American occupation forces that he thought of himself as a professional hanga artist.  Fishing Village in Afternoon, 1966, is a representative work.  Printed in soft grays and warm yellow and enriched with mica, this print captures the stillness and glare of the seaside in the long shadows of the afternoon."

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #194
 Title  Fishing Village in the Afternoon (Gyoson no gogo 漁村の午后)
 Series  n/a
 Artist
 Kitaoka Fumio (1918-2007)
 Signature
 pencil signed by artist in English below the image
 Seal  unsealed
 Publication Date  1967
 Edition  126/210
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - overall light toning and mat line; wrinkling of print primarily in margins; tape remnants on verso; several spots of foxing in margins and verso
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  artist proof dated 1966, one year before edition publication in 1967
 Format  
 H x W Paper  18 5/8 x 24 1/2 in. (47.5 x 52.2 cm)
 H x W Image  16 x 21 1/2 in.  (40.6 x 54.6 cm)
 Collections This Print  Northern Illinois University Art Museum (NIU 2005.26, Gift of Richard F. Grott Family)
 Reference Literature  Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints: Selected Works from the Richard F. Grott Family Collection, Helen M. Nagata, Helen Merritt, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, 2007, catalog no. 8, p. 44; Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The Early Years, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 255
 
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