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Circus No. 5

Play ground (1)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Circus No. 5

by Hagiwara Hideo, 1968

Breeze No. 2


IHL Cat. #1030

About This Print

Print 5 in the Hagiwara's Circus series of prints created in 1968.  He followed this series with the series Clowns in 1969 and the circus has been a recurring theme in the artist's work, as can be seen below.  

Wall Card from the Exhibition Three Masters of Abstraction
Hagiwara Hideo, Ida Shōichi and Takahashi Rikio
November 3, 2018 - March 24, 2019

Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

 
萩原英雄 サーカス No. 5

Hagiwara Hideo (1913–2007)

Circus No. 5

1968

Color woodblock print with mica on paper 
Lent by Irwin Lavenberg, L2017.103.5

Hagiwara explored a wide range of themes, from the uniquely Japanese, such as the samurai and Mount Fuji, to the international world of the circus. Here the form of the clown is easily identifiable, as is his billowing costume.



Known for using multiple printing techniques, including the use of traditional and non-traditional barens for transferring images to paper from a carved woodblock, this print employs woodblock combined with etching techniques derived from the intaglio process.  Donald Jenkins notes that in another work in this series, "Clown No. 8," "Hagiwara has combined traditional woodblock techniques with a form of woodcut intaglio, which he invented, which creates lines that resemble those found in etching or drypoint."1  "Hagiwara achieves this effect by scratching lines into his woodblocks with large sharpened nails or spikes.  He inks the blocks with water-base colors, then gently wipes the color off the surface as in intaglio plate printmaking, and, with full baren (rubbing pad) pressure on the back side of the paper, lifts sufficient color from the lines to create what we see." A subtle dusting of ground mica highlights the colors. 

The Artist's Circus and Clown Works

In November 2008 the Kichijoji Art Museum in the Musashino, Tama area of Tokyo, opened the third installment of a retrospective exhibition series on Hideo Hagiwara, which presented around twenty of the artist's works taking "circus" as their main theme.3 


大サーカス (Three-ring Circus), 1972
oil painting, 130.3 × 162.0cm

Circus and Clown Woodblocks (a sampling)

 
Circus, 1959
(Kyokuba)「曲馬」
woodblock with mica
48.3 x 33.1 cm (19 x 13 1/16 in.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 63.272
 
  
Circus, 1967

Circus No. 1, 1968

 
Circus No. 2, 1968
 

Circus No. 6, 1968

  
Circus No. 7
Circus No. 7, 1968
IHL Cat. #182

 
Clown No. 5
Clown No. 5, 1969
IHL Caat. #387


 
Clown No. 3, 1969

  
Clown No. 8, 1969



1 Images of a Changing World, Japanese Prints of the Twentieth Century, Donald Jenkins, Portland Art Museum, 1983, p. 122.
2 Ibid; p. 121.
3 Tokyo Art Beat website http://www.tokyoartbeat.com/event/2008/23E8

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1030
 Title  サーカス No. 5 Circus No. 5 [as inscribed on print]
 [
Saakasu No. 5, Circus No. 5]
 Series  Circus and Clown
 Artist 
 Hagiwara Hideo (1913 - 2007)
 Signature 
 pencil signed by artist in English – Hideo Hagiwara in lower left margin
 Seal
 Publication Date  1968
 Edition  38 of 50
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent -  a minor mat line in lower left portion of margin; some folding to paper along margin edges
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous
 Format  
 H x W Paper  12 1/2 x 14 7/8 in. (31.8 x 37.8 cm)
 H x W Image  8 7/8 x 11 1/4 in. (22.5 x 28.6 cm)
 Collections This Print  Santa Barbara Museum of Art 1991.146.16
 Reference Literature
last revision:
10/10/2018
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