japonisme: love & destruction

21 October 2006

love & destruction

max kurzweil, a founding member of the vienna secession, lived a charmed life, filled with love, sunlight, and the sparkling waves. though he may have been outshone by his fellows (klimt, moser), he was an enthusiastic contributor to the movement's journal ver sacrum (sacred spring), loved teaching as well as being a father.

or so it appeared until he killed himself in 1916 at the age of 49. he made this print of his wife in 1903.

kanae yamamoto was an innovator as well, being a pioneer in the sodaku hanga movement in which unlike the generations before him, the artist himself carried out the whole process of creating the prints, from cutting the wood to doing the printing. he also joined with others in the movement to start their own magazine, hosun (little things).

having come from a modest family, kanae was supporting himself as an illustrator from an early age. while in europe to explore the art movements there, he became aware of the socialist movements gaining strength, and when he returned to japan, he worked tirelessly to bring art education to children and the poor.

having developed the obsession, though, he began to ignore his own artwork. just before he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 64 he destroyed all of the woodblocks of his works with a hatchet.

(thanks to bibliodyssey for turning me on to kanae.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how you like the japanese culture that much! :) Can you tell me why? what makes it so appealing to you? :)) lovely post ;)

21 October, 2006 22:11  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

you know, it's not the japanese culture by itself any more than it is the european one: it's when they met.

and i think maybe part of doing this blog is to figure out why!

22 October, 2006 20:22  

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